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E. CAPPS, PH.I)., LL.D. W. H. D. ROUSE, litt.d. 

V I T R U V I U S 


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To Jesse 

Lord Trent 



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Clop. 2. 


Printed in Great Britain 


This edition has been based upon the oldest 
MS. of Vitruvius, the Harleian 2767 of the British 
Museum, probably of the eighth century, and from 
the Saxon scriptorium of Northumbria in which the 
Codex Amiatinus was written. The Latin closely 
resembles that of the workshop and the street. In 
my translation I have sought to retain the vividness 
and accuracy of the original, and have not sought a 
smoothness of rendering which would become a 
more polished style. The reader, it is possible, 
may discern the genial figure of Vitruvius through 
his utterances. In a technical treatise the risks of 
the translator are many. The help of Dr. Rouse 
has rendered them less formidable, but he is not 
responsible for the errors which have survived 

The introduction has been limited to such con- 
siderations as may enable the layman to enter into 
the mysteries of the craft, and the general reader to 
follow the stages by which the successive accretions 
to the text have been removed. The section upon 
language indicates some of the relations of \^itruvius 
to Old Latin generally. 

My examination of fourteen MSS. has been 
rendered possible by the courtesy of the Directors 
of the MSS. Libraries at the British Museum, the 
Vatican, the Escorial, the Bibliotheque Nationale 


at Paris, the Bodleian, St. John's College, Oxford, 
and Eton College. A word of special thanks is 
due to his Excellency the Spanish Ambassador to 
London, his Eminence the Cardinal Merry del Val 
and the Secretary of the British Embassy at Paris, 
for their assistance. 

Mr. Paul Gray, M.A., of this College, has given 
me valuable help in preparing the MS. for the 

Frank Granger. 
Ukiveesity College, 

September, 1929. 





WEST ..... 



THE MSS. ...... 

EDITIONS ...... 







MATERIALS . . . . 

















THE CAPITOL DOUGGA . (Frontispiece) 


. PLATE C. IONIC ORDER . . . . „ 

PLATE D. CORINTHIAN ORDER (see Froniispiece) 

PLATE E. DORIC ORDER ...(«' end) 


PLATE G. THEATRE . . . . . „ 




vltruvius and the architecture of the 

The history of architectural literature is taken by 
Vitruvius to begin with the theatre of Dionysus at 
Athens.^ In earlier times the spectators were 
accommodated upon wooden benches. According 
to one account,^ in the year 500 b.c. or thereabouts, 
the scaffolding collapsed, and in consequence a 
beginning was made towards a permanent stone 
structure. The elaborate stage settings of Aeschylus 
reached their culmination at the performance of 
the Agamemnon and its associated plays in 458. 
According to Suidas,^ the collapse of the scaffolding, 
which occurred at a performance of one of Aeschylus' 
dramas, led to the exile of the poet in Sicily, whei'e 
he died in 456. In that case the permanent con- 
struction of the theatre would begin in the Periclean 
age some time between 458 and 456. 

The performance of the Oresteia probably coin- 
cided with the first use of scene-painting. Agathar- 
chus,^ an artist of Samos, who was employed upon 
this, introduced the method of perspective as a 
practical expedient, not only in scene-painting but 
elsewhere. His elder contemporary, Polygnotus, 

^ Vitr. VII., pref. 11. ^ Suidas, s.v. Pratinas. 

* s.v. Aeschylus. * Vitr. VII., pref. 11. 


painted the figure without any light and shade and 
without a pictorial background. Agatharchus not 
only transformed the background of the stage, but 
changed the whole method of painting. He was 
followed by Zeuxis and Parrhasius. He left a note- 
book of a practical character, apparently a series of 
workshop recipes, with special reference to per- 
spective. An illuminating anecdote recorded by 
Plutarch ^ connects the painter with the extra- 
ordinary speed with which the architectural schemes 
of Pericles were completed. Even the more simple 
applications of perspective would enable an artist 
to can-y out designs with a rapidity, and on a scale, 
hitherto unknown. 

The practical treatise of Agatharchus suggested 
to Anaxagoras and Democritus a theoretic treat- 
ment of perspective.^ Since Anaxagoras belonged 
to the circle of Pericles,^ he forms one contact 
between the discoveries of Agatharchus and their 
application to the Parthenon. How far the subtle 
variations of the stonework in that building, from 
the horizontal and the vertical, are to be deduced 
from a system of pei'spective is a matter in dispute.* 
We probably err in limiting ourselves to geometrical 
projection; the logos opticos or theory of vision 
including other considerations. At any rate, the 
authorities upon whom Vitruvius chiefly drew, 
Pythius and Hermogenes, often appeal to aesthetic 
principles, such as symmetry and congruity, which 
go beyond perspective. 

If we take the Parthenon as furnishing a type of 
the Doric Order, Pythius in the fourth century at 
the Mausoleum and Priene, and Hermogenes in the 

1 Pericles, xiii. ^ Vitr. VII., pref. 11. 

* Plut. Pericles. * Lethaby, Greek Buildings, p. 80. 


third century at Magnesia, supply guidance for the 
Ionic Order not only in the extant remains of their 
buildings but in the formal treatises upon which 
Vitruvius drew. Surprise has sometimes been 
expressed at the long list of authorities quoted by 
Vitruvius in the preface to his seventh book. There 
is, however, good I'eason to accept his statement 
that he selected from them what was suitable to 
the plan of his work. Some of his material may 
have come by way of \"arro ; the greater part seems 
to have been taken at first hand. 

The descriptions left by architects of their build- 
ings seem rather to have been in the form of specifi- 
cations than like the formal treatises of Pythius and 
Hermogenes. We have not indeed the specification 
of the arsenal which Philo built in the Piraeus ; but 
we have a recital of the works to be undertaken by 
the contractors,^ which is a form of contract also, 
including something like a specification. To this 
were added the architect's drawings to scale. The 
general method of contracting with specification and 
drawings went back to what in \^itruvius' time was 
already antiquity. When the temple of Apollo at 
Delphi was burnt down in 548 b.c, it was rebuilt to 
the designs of a Corinthian architect, Spintharos, 
and with the funds of the Amphictionic League.^ 
The contract was undertaken by the noble Athenian 
family of the Alcmaeonids. In order to gain the 
favour of the Delphic oracle, " they executed the 
work more splendidly than the plans of the architect 
showed, and in pai-ticular, whereas the building was 
to be of local stone, they carried out the front eleva- 
tion in Parian marble." ^ The conti-act was let to 

1 Dittenberger, Sylloge IG, 352. ^ p^us. X. v. 13. 

* Herod. V. 62. 


the Alcmaeonids for 300 talents (£72,000), and the 
Amphictionic Council demanded from the city of 
Delphi a contribution of one quarter the amount. 
The citizens sent missionaries throughout the Greek 
world to aid in collecting the amount. They were 
especially successful in Egypt, where the native 
monarch gave a thousand talents of rock-alum (per- 
haps for use in making stucco), and the Greek 
settlers gave 20 minae (£80).^ I have dealt at 
some length with the Delphic temple because it 
furnishes us with some notion of the earlier stages 
of Greek architectural practice. It also indicates 
the continuity of this tradition down to the point at 
which it is taken up by Vitruvius.^ 

We next turn to town-planning, which for Vitru- 
vius ^ begins mth Alexandria and the architect 
Dinocrates. And yet Vitruvius might have found 
in Italy itself an older precedent. The export trade 
in pottery from Athens gave employment to a whole 
quarter of the city, the Ceramicus. A century 
before the sculpture of Athens became supreme in 
Greece, her pottery by its fine quality had gained 
a market in Etruria, Italy and Sicily. In order to 
secure her trade in the West, Athens determined to 
form an emporium in Southern Italy and employed 
the architect Hippodamus of Miletus to lay out the 
new city of Thurii. When the colonists arrived, 
they found their new home already partly built. 
In the time of Vitruvius, four centuries later, it was 
a cheerful watering-place. 

To Vitruvius the main consideration in to\vn- 
planning was to guard the thoroughfares against the 
prevailing winds. Consequently he shows a plan 

1 Herod. II. 180. * Book VII., pref. 11. 

3 Book I. ; Book II., pref. 4. 


with the streets radiating from a centre. But his 
attempt to create a precedent failed. The Roman 
colonies in the main followed the lay-out of the 
Roman camp. It has been left to modern times to 
take up the Greek tradition. Washington is in the 
line of Thurii and Alexandria. 

The form of Greek and Roman architecture was 
largely determined by the excellent stone and 
marble quarries which were at their command; just 
as Egyptian architecture is relevant to the noble 
igneous rocks of the Nile valley. We have seen 
Parian marble exported to Delphi. Athens was 
near the quarries of Pentelicus, Roman buildings 
were faced with stone from Carrara. Alongside 
with marble and stone was the use of burnt or sun- 
dried brick. The latter continued in Rome till the 
end of the Republic. The use of burnt brick was 
customary in Babylon and in regions under Baby- 
lonian influence ; at Halicarnassus glazed brick also 
seems to have been used in the fourth century. ^ 
It was not until the Empire that burnt brick came 
into use at Rome. The most impressive features of 
Roman building, the arch and the vault, are associated 
with this material. 

It is at this stage that Mtruvius appears with this 
treatise. We know almost as much about Vitruvius 
as we know about Shakespeare. Vitruvius was inter- 
ested in himself, and informs the reader that he was 
neither good-looking nor tall. He sought consola- 
tion in writing. And familiarity with his treatise 
gains respect for the writer. Purists may regret his 
deviations from the canons of Cicei'o. A deeper 
feeling will be aroused by the vernacular character 
of his Latin, which is faithfully recorded by the 
1 Vitr. II. viii. 11. 



oldest extant MS. H. The Latin of the mason's 
yard and the carpenter's bench and of Vitruvius' 
text-book was to be echoed all over Western Europe 
in the early part of the Middle Ages. 

But Vitruvius was the channel of the tradition of 
science. Greek philosophy in his pages was the 
coryphaeus of mathematics and the special sciences. 
For Vitruvius himself seems to have spoken Greek, 
and to have had a direct acquaintance with Greek 
literature. In this respect he was, none the less, 
Roman. Greek began two centuries before Christ 
to replace Latin as the language of Roman society. 
It flowed from the dying lips of Caesar. A century 
later it conveyed to the already venerable church 
of the capital the masterly exposition of Christian 
principles by St. Paul, a Semite and a Roman citizen. 
The affinity of the Western Church with Mtruvius 
is deeply rooted indeed if we follow the oldest 
reading,! " let no one think I have erred if I believe 
in the logos." " Ne putet me erravisse si credam 
rafionem." At any rate this manual combines a 
scientific temper with a rational respect for the 

Vitruvius held an official position in the rebuilding 
of Rome by Augustus.^ His treatise, however, never 
mentions Octavian by his official name Augustus, 
and presumably was written before 27 b.c, when it 
was conferred. The Roman plumbers, according to 
Frontinus, seem to have acted on his instructions in 
determining the size of their lead pipes.* We can 
perhaps trace in Pliny ^ a reference to the standards 
imposed by Vitruvius. More general is the use of 

^ H. II. i. 8. - Xumen = " a divine gesture." 

' Cf. I., pref. 2. * Front. Aquaed. 25. 

* N.H. xxxi. 68. 



Vitruvius made by the same writer, showing that 
the manual of Architecture was already a standard 
work. This tradition lasted as far as Sidonius Apol- 
linaris in the fifth century. The Parisian MS. 7382 
notes by a later hand the quotations from \ itruvius 
by these three writers. The scholiast on h, perhaps 
Fra Giocondo, quotes references to Pliny in which 
Vitruvius seems to furnish the material. 

More striking still is the influence of Vitruvius 
upon the architecture of the Roman colonies which 
were founded in the early Empire. His circle of 
the winds was marked at many colonies in Africa, 
especially at Dougga, where the neighbouring 
Capitol ^ is said to follow the proportions of Vitruvius, 
probably in the second century a.d. 

The eclipse of Rome by Theodoric and Justinian 
in the sixth century replaced Vitruvius by the de- 
signs of the Byzantine artists. ^ His work, however, 
was probably represented in the manuscripts of 
Cassiodorus at Squillace and of the Benedictines at 
Monte Cassino. He took a new life when Rome 
recovered under the Papacy. Along with the Latin 
Vulgate, Vitruvius probably was taken by Ceolfrid 
to the scriptorium at J arrow, where Italian scribes 
wrote the Codex Amiatinus and — there is reason to 
think — the oldest extant MS., the Harleian, of 
Vitruvius. The circumstance that strictly speaking 
there was no such thing as Saxon architecture, imphed 
that the " Roman style," as it was called, was 
imitated. This did not necessarily involve the use 
of the orders, as may be seen by the epitome of 

^ See Frontispiece. 

^ There is a reference to Vitruvius, Book VIII. iii., in Tzet- 
zes' commentary on Lycophron, Alexandra, 1024. He seems 
to have read Victruvius. 



Faventinus dating from the fourth century. What 
was followed was the use of building materials in 
the Roman manner. The Christian architects seized 
rather upon the basilica of Vitruvius than his pagan 
temple, a process which had ah*eady begun in Africa, 
where the basilicas of Timgad still retain the columnar 
style of the temple. 

Benedictine missionaries carried religion and archi- 
tecture of the Roman form from England to Charle- 
magne. That Germany owed \'itruvius to England 
appears from the fact that all the extant MSS. go 
back to H. At this point we take up the history of 
the MSS. 

The History of the Manuscripts of Vitruvius 

The origin and date of the oldest MS. H ^ have 
been variously assigned. Rose in his preface roundly 
states that it was written in Germany in the time of 
Charlemagne.^ But a reconsideration of the origin 
of H has been rendered necessary by the discovery 
that the Codex Amiatinus was written not, as Tis- 
chendorf supposed,^ in Italy about a.d. 541, but in 
England at Jarrow (or Wearmouth), to which Ceol- 
frid brought manuscripts from Italy. Theodore, 
Archbishop of Canterbury, also, seems to have been 
the means by which an Italian manuscript of the 
Latin Vulgate came to the north to furnish the 
original of the Lindisfarne Gospels, about a.d. 690. 
This was written by the Bishop of Lindisfarne him- 
self, a Saxon under the influence of Irish scribes. 

Now let us turn to H. It was not completed, for 
four pages were left blank, probably for some of 
the illustrations to which Vitruvius refers. In the 

1 B.M. Harl. 2767. ^ gd. pref. iv. 

^ N.T. Amiutinum, pref. xi, 



Parisian manuscript 7227 the diagram of the winds 
has a page to itself at the end. H puts this diagram 
at the side of the text,i the only illustration of 
Vitruvius which H contains. On the last of the 
• blank pages in the body of the manuscript, however, 

there is the sketch of a cross in the same style as 
those which precede each of the Lindisfarne Gospels.^ 
This trace of the Celtic tradition helps to define the 
origin of H in Northumbria. 

When we turn to the Codex Amiatinus, we find 
that the scribe has added am€?i to each of the four 
gospels at the end, but to the Acts of the Apostles 
he has affixed at the end Deo gratias amen. In the 
same way H adds to the first book of Vitruvius do 
gratias amen, and a similar ending marks the tenth 
book. When the script of H is considered, there 
appears a close resemblance of the rubrication and 
the uncial letters to the style of the Amiatinus. In 
the letters D and M, however, there is an alternation 
between the capital and the uncial forms. The A 
sometimes lacks the cross stroke and resembles the 
Greek capital lambda. In fact, where H differs from 
the style of the Amiatinus, so far as the uncial 
/ writing is concerned, it suggests the lapidary style 
of Pope Damasus. 

More will be said about the Latinity of H in the 
sequel. For the present it is enough for our pur- 
pose to note that it was written while Latin was stilt 
vigorous and living. When we turn to Einhard 
and Charlemagne, the purist is already at work 
removing idioms (sometimes classical and ancient) 
because of their apparent contradiction of the gram- 
marians. The very excellence of Einhard 's Latin is 
largely due to its artificial character. In a word, it 
1 Book I. vi. 12. 2 B.M. 111. MSB. iii. 1. 



is doubtful whether H could have been written after 
the establishment of the Caroline school. At the 
same time the remarkable care with which H was 
written encourages us to see in it a faithful transcript 
of the Italian original and a witness of great value, 
therefore, for the Latin of the early Empire. 

What kind of transformation \^itruvius would prob- 
ably have undergone is illustrated for us by the text 
of G, which Rose and Krohn consider to represent 
an independent tradition from the original. A 
reference to the critical notes will prove, I think, 
that G is merely a recension of H carried out in the 
presumed interests of Latin style, and varying from 
H only in detail, except in the beginning of the 
first book, where a misunderstanding of the text has 
led to a wrong punctuation and to the interpolation 
of an unnecessary phrase. Fra Giocondo went much 
further than G in his divergence from the manu- 
script tradition. He had this excuse, however, that 
he treated \ itruvius as an authority of more than 
antiquarian value. 

We can arrange the extant manuscripts, there- 
fore, as follows : first those which derive from H, 
and these are the greater number ; second, those 
which derive from G, to which may be added not 
only the second Gudianus quoted by Rose, but 
three late manuscripts, one in Paris 7228, the Bod- 
leian F.5.7, and one in the \ atican Codd. Urbinafes 
Latini 293 ; thirdly, a very late Parisian manuscript 
"which has the reading architectura for architecti, was 
probably written under the direction of Giocondo, 
who is otherwise the main authority for this reading.^ 

The spelling of the author's name as Victruvius is 
found in a group of MSS. belonging to the first class, 
1 Book I. i. 1. 


and apparently written in St. Augustine's Abbey, 
Canterbury. At any rate the Cotton MS., if not 
written there, was a possession of the Library ,i 
and the Laudian MS., now at St. John's College, 
Oxford, was written at the Abbey in 1316. The 
origin of the mis-spelling seems to have been due to 
the carelessness of the rubricator of c, who gives yet 
another spelling, Victiirii, in Book IX. The same 
spelling is found in two Harleian MSS. : 3859 A, 
which has Victnivius,^ and 2760, which has Victimi ( ?), 
perhaps from Victurii. 

Later on, evidence will be produced to show that 
h was the Blandinian manuscript used by Fra Gio- 
condo ; in other words it belonged to the great 
Benedictine house of St. Peter at Ghent. It is 
more than a coincidence that h is thus associated 
with two MSS. in the sister house at Canterbury. 
Further, the spelling Victruvius is employed by Sul- 
pitius in the editio princeps. He was probably influ- 
enced by the bad rubrication of the late Escorial 
manuscript, which seems to read Victim, a manu- 
script which there is good reason to think Sulpitius 
used. Last of all there is the addition by a later 
hand of Victruvius on the page facing the illuminated 
beginning of Paris 7228. 

But the three oldest MSS. which have this title 
are characterised by an important reading which 
has been overlooked by all tl.ose who have collated 
H hitherto, Book VII. pref. 11 : de incerta re ijicertae 
imagines, c has dei7t certarem, h and the Laudian 
MS. de incerta re incertae. When we examine H we 
find the apparent reading de incerta re, but the e in 
re has a flourish not unlike the symbol for m and 

* James, Ancient Libraries of Canterbury and Dover, p. 519. 
2 Cf. supra p. 11, n^. 




justifying c's dein certarem. There is a case, there- 
fore, for the reading incertae imagines, if we suppose 
that the scribe of H found m before him and read 
it as 771. More than this, if we follow Vitruvius' train 
of thought, the incerta res will carry with it incertae 
imagines. Hence Mr. Krohn quite consistently 
changes iticerta before res to certa, on the accepted 
assumption that certae imagines is the accurate read- 
ing. But the uncertain things and the uncertain 
images harmonise with the teaching of Democritus, 
who, like St. Augustine, found certainty in reason. 
For Democritus, " reality consists in space and the 
geometrical forms of matter," ^ i.e. in the formal or 
rational factor of experience ! Hence Vitruvius 
correctly states the principles of Democritus in the 
passage that we are considering. That these 
principles coincide to some extent with St. Augus- 
tine's ^ would commend them to an Augustinian, 
especially at Canterbury, where the Abbey library 
contained the Hortensius ^ of Cicero : under this 
title we are to understand the Academica in which 
Cicero expounds the scepticism of Carneades about 
sense-experience.* But in Augustine's own works 
this attitude is widely enough represented. We 
might, therefore, almost regard this group of the 
Vitruvius MSS. as Augustinian. To this group may 
perhaps be added the late Escorial MS. on the 
ground of the mis-spelling of the title lictini. which 
resembles that of the Harleian 2760, Victimi. The 
latter, further, is followed by the Escorial MS. in 
the designs of the initial letters. In these there is 
a touch of the Celtic manner which seems to have 

1 Windelband, I wan Midler, V. 1. 211. 

* Martin, Saint Augustin, p. 277. 

' James, op. cit., p. 305. * Reid, Academica, p. 31 n. 


been handed down through the centuries from the 
scribes of Northunibria. 

The Earliest Printed Editions of Vitruvius, 
AND their MS. Authority 

After being engaged for a considerable time in 
tracing the history of the manuscripts of Vitruvius I 
met with a striking coincidence.^ Three years ago 
I visited the Escorial Library in order to examine 
two manuscripts there. Of these, one was obviously 
late, probably of the fifteenth century. It was un- 
usually rich, however, in marginal notes ; by the 
courtesy of the Director I was enabled to have a 
photographic reproduction made, and with this 
before me I found two notes, in a much later hand, 
of considerable interest. The first compared an 
abbreviation with a similar abbreviation in Blandi- 
niano (Book VII., pref.). The second took note of 
the well-known dislocation of a folio of the arche- 
type later on in the same book, and again referred 
to a Blandinian manuscript. 

Now Fra Giocondo was the first editor of Vitruvius 
to remedy this dislocation in his text. His name, 
therefore, at once suggested itself as the writer of 
these two notes. It is possible, of course, that Fra 
Giocondo— assuming for a moment him to be the 
writer — had borrowed the manuscript from the 
famous Benedictine house of St. Peter at Ghent. 
But there is an alternative possibility. He might 
have read it on the spot. When Fra Giocondo was 

^ The personal note in the following section may perhaps 
be excused in view of the hypothetical character of the 
material. By the courtesy of the editor, the suggestions 
contained appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, March 
21, 1929. 


preparing his edition of Caesar, he " sought out 
many examples throughout Gaul ; in which province 
(because many had always been bi'ought from Italy 
and were less exposed to loot and war) more accurate 
manuscripts of every kind are found." ^ He might, 
therefore, conceivably have visited the neighbouring 
and famous library of St. Peter. Cruquius, speaking 
of the Blandinian manuscripts of Horace, says that 
they were brought from Rome. The manuscripts 
of Horace disappeared, it would seem, in the icono- 
clastic riots at Ghent and accompanying fire of 1566. 
Is it possible that the Blandinian Vitruvius escaped ? 
At any rate it is recorded that as late as 1809 manu- 
scripts from the monastery were seized in Holland. 
But there is another line of approach. This same 
Escorial manuscript which furnished the two scholia 
turns out to have the closest affinity to the first 
printed edition of Vitruvius, that of Sulpitius. Sul- 
pitius collated many manuscripts. But he used especi- 
ally one wi-itten for him by a friend Delius ; which I 
am tempted to identify with the Escorial manuscript. 
Satis accurate perscripto implies only a moderate 
praise in Sulpitius' account of it. The Escorial MS, 
is rather poorly written. The abbreviations corre- 
spond with those used in Sulpitius' text, and many 
characteristic renderings are found in the MS. which 
are repeated in the printed edition. The MS. came 
from the library of Olivares, the famous Spanish 
statesman, who was born at Rome, where his father 
was Ambassador to Sixtus V. The Italian origin of 
the Escorial manuscript would thus be explained. 
The history of the manuscript would begin with 
Sulpitius, go on to Giocondo, and then arrive at 
Olivares after an interval. 

1 Caesar, pref., Paris, 1544. 


The edition of Sulpitius offers a further clue. As 
we have seen, he prints the name of the Latin 
author as Victruvius ; we may infer that one of his 
manuscripts derived from Canterbury. 

Let us now examine the Harleian Vitruvius h. 
Again, the margin furnishes two illuminating notes. 
The same (?) handwriting as that of the Escorial 
scholiast calls attention in two places (Book VII., 
pref. and c. i.) to the abbreviation already noted 
above, uti s. s. e. (for uti supra scriptum est). This 
abbreviation was wrongly transcribed in the Escorial 
manuscript, and misunderstood by Sulpitius. Gio- 
condo, on our supposition, notes the correct text of 
the Harleian, which duly appears in full in his 
printed edition, uti supra scriptum est. It seems 
probable then that Giocondo used these two manu- 
scripts in constituting his text. But it is doubtful 
whether he read the Harleian at Ghent or in Italy. 
It is also doubtful whether Sulpitius got his reading 
Victruviiis from the Harleian or from another descend- 
ant of the Cottonian Vitruvius. 

It may seem a slight foundation for so large a 
superstructure of conjecture. But photography has 
made it possible to put side by side the handwriting 
on the mai'gins of the two manuscripts. The com- 
pai-ison is convincing. 

The inquiry as to the movements of the Vitruvian 
manuscript is of the first importance for the history 
of architecture. The case before us exhibits Fra 
Giocondo at work on the text received by the archi- 
tects of the Renaissance. It is noteworthy when 
we see him recording for the first time the disloca- 
tion of a folio in the archetype. It is not less memor- 
able when we find him altering the first word that 
follows upon the preface to the fii'st book; there 


can be seen in the Escorial manuscript (I think in 
Fra Giocondo's writing) the substitution of archi- 
lectura for architecti, to be repeated in Barbaro's 
translation and Philander's edition. This was but 
the first of many ai'bitrary changes. 

Yet there was one quahty in Fra Giocondo's work 
which compensates for his somewhat cavalier scholar- 
ship. He had in view the practical application of 
the rules of Vitruvius, an aim attempted by Wotton 
in his Elements of Architecture. This attitude to 
Vitruvius explains the history of the text. The 
admirable work of another (the present) Provost of 
Eton, The Ancient Libraries of Canterbury and Dover, 
enables us to see St. Augustine's Abbey library at 
Canterbury as the centre from which manuscripts 
were diffused not only by " conveyance " but by 
lawful copying. The Harleian Vitruvius ^ seems to 
be a case in point. Whether this is the Blandinian 
codex or not, the Blandinian Abbey of St. Peter at 
Ghent held enormous possessions in England from 
the tenth century onwards, and there is no improb- 
ability in the suggestion that the scribes of St. 
Augustine's, Canterbury, furnished books for the 
library across the Channel. 

The latest Harleian MS. of Vitruvius ^ has the 
characteristic mis-spelling of the author's name, in 
this case Victimi, which leads us to think of the 
Augustinian scribes. And when we find at the 
beginning of the MS. the inscription iste liber est 
monasterii (name erased) we have grounds for think- 
ing that it was part of the loot of the Blandinian 
monastery of St. Peter. 

1 B.M. 3S59. 
« B.M. 2760. 



The Scholia in the MSS. of Vitruvius 

We must distinguish between that part of the 
MS. which is due to the author and the various 
additions which are found from other sources. 
Vitruvius never mentions his own name. In this 
respect he anticipates the writers of the four gospels. 
His work probably first took shape in ten papyrus 
rolls kept together in a canister with a slip of parch- 
ment attached (titulus or title) giving the name of 
the author and the work. Hence in many cases 
where the author's name is not mentioned in the 
text and the tituli have disappeared, the author's 
name disappears too. In Vitruvius' case, the fact 
that he is mentioned by Pliny the Elder secured to 
some extent the survival of his name. 

The divisions of the work into books, and of the 
separate books into preface and the main part of 
each book, are the author's own. But he is not 
responsible for the divisions into chapters, which 
are due to Fra Giocondo, and the further divisions 
into paragraphs, which are due to Schneider. The 
titles of the chapters of the first book alone are given 
in H, but these are neither convenient nor accurate. 
I have given them English renderings, however, but 
have excluded them from the Latin text. 

Such additions to the texl are found in most 
MSS., and often furnish, as in this case, valuable 
clues to the histoi'y of the MSS. Round the works 
of authors more frequently read there have gathered 
the commentaries of scholars, as in the case of Virgil. 
Vitruvius, however, furnishes, so far as I know, but 
two MSS. with scholia, the later Escorial and the 
Harleian h. In the belief that by them valuable 
light would be thrown on the history of the text, 



the Eton MS. presents Vitruvius. But these pictures 
are creatures of the imagination. 

The text of Vitruvius would admit of very many 
illustrations, more indeed than any edition could 
supply. The reader may be referred to Smith's 
Dictionary of Antiquities. Short of this, the illustra- 
tions furnished will explain some of the most char- 
acteristic topics. 

The Language of Vitruvius 

The text of the present edition represents more 
closely than its predecessors that of H. In doing 
so it disregards many of the corrections and emen- 
dations of Rose and Krohn. From the sequel it will 
appear that the text of H has been altered by the 
editors in many places where it faithfully preserves 
the ancient, and in some cases the standard, idiom. 

For the language of H is not so far, as it might 
sound at first, even from the classical Latin of 30 B.C. ; 
it is still nearer the vernacular, the spoken Latin of 
the workshop and the street. Of this unliterary 
Latin few traces can be expected in literature : yet 
the casual inscription and the casual scrawl upon 
the stucco of Pompeii give us hints towai'ds the 
understanding of \ itruvius. There is help from 
elsewhere. The Old Latin versions of the Gospels, 
which were largely used by Jerome in forming the 
Latin Vulgate, go back probably to the beginning 
of the second century. Cardinal Wiseman drew 
attention ^ to the importance of the African versions 
as containing the oldest Latin text of the New 
Testament, the reason being that Greek was the 
language of the Roman Church at the time of 
Vitruvius and probably as late as a.d. 200. I am 
1 Essays, I. 40 ff. 


indebted to Wiseman's essay for some of the parallels 
to the language of Vitruvius. Other parallels are 
drawn from the Old Latin MS. k,^ which is almost 
identical with the biblical quotations of Cyprian. 
The later Old Latin MSS. exhibit a recension which 
gradually diverges towards a more classical form in 
a manner which is illustrated by the history of the 
text of Vitruvius. And, generally, the Latin-speak- 
ing Africans furnish us with some of the earliest 
evidence of the influence of Vitruvius. 

Mr. Krohn has improved on the text of Rose in 
many places by returning to H. From the following 
examination of readings it will be seen that we may 
go much further. 

Punctuation often enables us to recover the 
original. The reading of c, deiti certarem, VII., 
pref. 1 1 , gives us de incerta re and, in m certae imagines, 
the incertae imagines which the argument demands. 
In another case, by retaining the punctuation of H 
we have the striking and not impossible statement 
si credam rationem, which was altered by later scribes 
to avoid the grammatical solecism of an accusative 
after credo, I. i. 8.'^ 

Punctuation wrongly used gave a inistaken turn 
to the definition of the architect's calling with which 
the book begins after the first preface. By post- 
poning the stop to opera, the scribe of G seems to 
have found necessary the interpolation cuius iudicio 
probantur omnia. But if, with the Vatican MS. Vj 
we punctuate after perjiciuntur , opera recovers the 
meaning " personal service " or better " work," 
through which it passed into the French ceuvre, 

1 Old Latin Biblical Texts, II., Oxford, 1886. 
* Tacitus uses an accusative aiter fungor, Ann., III. ii. 1, 
IV. xxxviii.l. 


further giving rise to operarius in Latin and thereby 
to ouvrier in French. The ea which follows is equiva- 
lent, as so often in Vitruvius, to the article. Opera 
ea = Voeuvre. It is then analysed into fabrica 
" handiwork," and ratiocinatio " brainwork." 

By inserting a comma uti cu7ieus, I. v. 5 becomes 
an illustration. I should like to retain Jerroque 
II. viii, 12, with a comma to separate it from more. 
To the Ciceronian e duro Jerroque may seem harsh 
and forced ; but is it beyond the range of Sallust ? 
A comma after parvas partes will imply that a part 
of the verb esse is supplied with distributa. Hence 
it is unnecessary with Mr. Krohn to add rion before 
poterit I. V. 7. 

As examples of archaic spellings we find mare abl. 

I. iii. 11 with huoretius ; Jerundo 1. i. 5; alii gen. 

II. ix. 5 ; secuntur from sequor. 

I have restored some good spellings from H: cir- 
cuitionibus 1. i. 7 ; turrim and turrem are found side 
by side, I. vi. 4, reminding us that the rules for 
spelling were still flexible. (The great inscription 
of Augustus in Aneyra has conlegio and collega in 
the same sentence, IV. 22.) Mercuri gen. sing, 
should not have been altered by Rose and Krohn, 
II. viii. 11 ; the reading of H in V. x. 5 seems to be 
clupe^m, the correction of o by the fii'st hand to u 
being made with a letter like ?/ (Augustus' inscrip- 
tion having clupei VI. 34) ; praegiiates II. ix. 1 is 
found in Plautus and frequently in Pliny, N.H. ; 
reciperantur should stand, II, ix. 2. 

H's language is tinged with old technical spellings 
natural in builders' specifications, doleis V. v. 1 is 
supported by Varro, R.R. I. 61. Under the same 
head come lengthy compounds like exsuperationibus 
I. iv. 8, and inambulationes I. iii. 1. The last example 


is instructive. Compounds with in are frequent and 
have sometimes been altered by Krohn unneces- 
sarily, as here, on the ground that the mediaeval 
scribes often added in. The repetition of synonyms 
is frequent; it is dangerous to remove them as 
glosses, gnomon indagator umbrae I. vi. 6. Another 
characteristic of specifications is the use of singular 
for plural : in tertio et quarto volumine I. vii. 2 ; this 
should have prevented the alteration to the plural 
of erit litter a e et f, I. vi. 12. The not infrequent 
omission of the verb esse also characterises early 
African Latin, as in the N.T. MS. k. 

The description of the basilica at Fano, V. i. 6, has 
puzzled some critics. It is obviously taken from 
something like a specification. The argument from 
language against its ascription to Vitruvius is uncon- 
vincing to an architect who, like the present wTiter, 
has written specifications and employed the tra- 
ditional idiom with its archaic and technical terms. 
I will allow myself but one reference. Mr. Krohn, 
pref. V, cites negotiantes (for negotiatores) as not 
Vitruvian. The use of the participle as a noun of 
agency is characteristic of African Latin; discentes 
for discipnli in the N.T. MS. k. It also occurs in 
Sallust, Caesar, Cicero, Livy. The reader of the 
following pages, therefore, may find in the basilica 
the precedent followed to some extent throughout 
the Middle Ages, and set by Vitruvius himself.^ 

^ Scott, History of English Church Architecture, p. 4 ff. 




The following MSS. have been used in consti- 
tuting the text and in determining its history. 
Rose and Krohn agree in referring all the extant 
MSS. to H and G as representing an unknown 
original, and have intentionally neglected the later 
MSS., which they refer to one or other of these 
sources. I have carried their process one step 
further, by showing, as I think, that G is a recension 
of H. For E, G and S, I have availed myself of 
the collations of Rose and Krohn. The remaining 
fourteen MSS. I have collated myself, H, h and e^ 
minutelv. They confirm the derivation of the later 
MSS. from H and G. 

H. London, British Museum, Harl. 2767 ^ (8th 

S. Selestad. Bibl. 1153 (10th cent.). 

E. Wolfenbiittel, Bibl. 132 (10th cent.). 

G. Wolfenbiittel, Bibl. 69 (Uth cent.), with 
excerpts from I-III, V-X. 

The following MSS. are derived from H: they are 
sometimes denoted generally as rec. (recentiores). 

c. London, B.M., Cotton, Cleop. (10th cent.). 
The rubricator gives the author's name as 

^ H inserts some chapter headings in the first book, prob- 
ably later than the text itself. These headings have been 
inserted in the translation. 



Victruvius, which is found in the following 

four MSS. 
h. London, B.M., Harl. 3859 (11th cent.). 
i. Oxford, St. John's Coll. 66 B (1316 a.d.). 
eg. Escorial, II. 5 (15th cent.). 
h^. London, B.M., Harl. 2760 (15th cent.). 
Pi. Paris, Bibl. Nat. 7227 (11th cent.). 
e^. Escorial, III. 19 (11th or 12th cent.). 
et. Eton College, MSS. 137 (15th cent.). 
Vj. Rome, Vatican Codd. Urbin. Lat. III. 1360 

(15th cent.). 
P3. Paris, Bibl. Nat. 7382 (15th cent.). 

The folloAving MSS. are derived through E and G : 
p^. Paris, Bibl. Nat. 7228 (14th cent.). 
Og- Oxford, Bodleian, F. v. 7 (15th cent.). 
^2- Rome, Vatican Codd. Urbin. Lat. I, 293 
(15th cent.). 

Sulp. : ed. princeps. by Sulpitius, Rome, c. I486, 

loc. : Fra Giocondo, Florence, Junta, 1522, 8vo. 
Phil. : Philander, Rome, 1544, 8vo. 
Laet. : Laet, Amsterdam, 1649, fol. 
Perr. : Perrault, Paris, 1673, fol. 
Schn. : Schneider, Leipzig, 1807-8, 8vo. 
Lor. : Lorentzen, Gotha (Books I-V), 1857, 8vo. 
Rose : Rose, Leipzig, 1867 and 1899, 8vo. 
Kr. : Krohn, Leipzig, 1912, 8vo. 


Italian: Barbaro, Venice, 1567, 4to., illust. 
French: Perrault, Paris, 1673, fol., illust. 

Choisy, Paris, 1909, illust. 
German: Rivius, Nuremburg, 1548, fol., illust. 



English : Gwilt, London, 1826, large 4to., illust. 
Morgan, Harvard, 1914, 8vo., illust. 

The Chief Contributions to the Study of Vilruviiis ^ 

Serlio : Architettura, Libri I-IV, Rome, 1559-1562, 

Vignola : Regola della cinque ordini d' Architettura. 

Of this there are several French translations. 
Palladio : Libri IV dell' Architettura, Venice, 1570, 

Goujon : Essay contained in Martin's translation 

of Vitruvius, Paris, 1547. 
De Brosse : Reigle Generate, Paris, 1619, fol. 
Le Clerc : Architecture, Paris, 1714. Two vols., 

Inigo Jones : his notes on Vitruvius and Palladio 

await publication. 
Wren : Parentalia, London, 1750. 

The above works are by architects who applied 
the rules of Vitruvius to their buildings, and are 
important for the understanding of Roman archi- 
tectural practice. 

Wotton : Elements of Architecture, London, 1624, 

Polenus : Exercitationes Fitruvianae, Patavii, 1739. 
Fea: Winkelmann, tr. Rome, 1783-4. Three 

vols., 4to. (Sulle rovine di Roma.) 
Donaldson: Trans. R.I.B.A. Vol. I, 1834. (On 

MSS. of Vitruvius.) 

The Harleian MSS. including H appear in this 
list, as also the Wolfenbiittel MSS. including G. 
But Vitruvian studies were almost fruitless for a 

^ Much that has been written on Vitruvius may safely be 


generation until the edition of Rose, 1867. They 
were overshadowed on the one hand by the renais- 
sance of Greek architecture beginning with Stuart 
and Revett's Antiquities of Athens, 1762-1816, and 
on the other by the renaissance of Gothic archi- 
tecture beginning with Horace Walpole. The Greek 
revival has thrown much light on the authorities 
followed by Vitruvius and vindicated his accuracy. ^ 
His influence upon Einhard largely determined the 
architectural school of Charlemagne and thereby the 
development of Gothic architecture. 

Sanford: Classical Authors in Libri Manuales, 
Trans. Avier. Phil. Assoc, 1924. 

Nohl : Index Vitruvianus, Leipzig, 1876, 8vo. 
Analecta Vitruviana, Berlin, 1882, 4to. 

Stock : De Vitruvii sermone, Berhn, 1888, 8vo. 

Morgan : Addresses and Essays, New York, 1909. 

Ussing : Betragtninger over Vitruvii de architectura, 
Copenhagen, 1896. (Maintained that the 
work was spurious and belonged to the third 
or fourth century. Against him it was shown 
that it was written before Actium, b.c. 31, 
by the two following.) 

Dietrich : Quaestionum Vitruviannrum Specimen, 
Leipzig, 1906, 8vo. 

Sontheimer: Vitruvius und seiiie Zeit., Tubingen, 
1908, 8vo. 

Schmidt, W. : Bursian's Jahresberichte, CVIII. 122, 
1901. (The description of the Basilica at 
Fano is treated as an interpolation by a later 
hand ; he is followed by Krohn.) 

1 Vitruvius' description of the Temple of Zeus Olympics 
at Athens as octastyle has been proved correct in recent 


Gardner. E. : The Greek House, Journal of 
Hellenic Studies, XXI. 300-303, 1901. 

Dyer, L. : Vitruvius' Account of the Greek Stage, 
op. cit., XII. 1891. 

Dorpfeld : Das griech. Theater, Athens, 1896. 

Krohn : De Faventini Epitome, Berlin, 1896. 

Krohn : Frontiniis, Leipzig, 1922. 

Books of General Reference 

Terquem : La science Itomaine d'apres Vitruve, 

Paris, 1885. 
Lanciani : Ruins and Excavations of Ajicieni Rome, 

London, 1897, 8vo. 
Schanz : Romische Literatur, Munich, 1899, large 

8vo. ; 2nd ed., 1911. 
Richter : Topograpkie der Stadt Rom, Munich. 

1901, large 8vo. 
Lethaby : Greek Buildings, London, 1908, tall 8vo. 
Jones, H. S. : Companion to Roman History, Oxford, 

1912, large 8vo. 
Platner and Ashby : Topographical Dictionary of 

Ancient Rome, Oxford, 1929, large 8vo, 
Neuburger : Technical Arts and Sciences of the 

Ancients, tr. Brose, London, 1930, large 8vo. 



Note. — This index is limited to terms used or implied by Vitnivius. He 
wrote in the vernacular as distinguished from the literary idiom, and with a view 
to practice. Comparison with inscriptions both Greek and Latin shows that 
there was a traditional technical language used by builders, and it is fairly 
represented by the Latin text of H. Latin terms are in italics. Where they 
correspond closely to the corresponding English terms, they are sometimes left 

Abacus, ttXCvOo^, thin flat slab usually 
square at top of column under 
architrave, 187 

Abalo/i, a^arov, sanctuary which is 
not to be entered, 125 

Acantltus, axaj/So?, Brank-Ursine, a 
plant of which the leaves are imitated 
in Corinthian capitals, PI. D., 209 

Acroteria, aKpoTjjpia, pedestals on the 
centres and sides of pediments, 195 

Amphiprost ijlos, afi(/)i7rp6<rTviAo5, build- 
ings witli a portico at each end, 
PI. B., 107 

Anco7ies, dyKut/es, brackets or corbels 
at the sides of the lintel of a door- 
way, 234 

Antae, Trapao-rdSe?, the pilaster- 
formed ends of walls, IGC 

Apophysis, ix7r6(/ii;(jt5, the hollow curve 
with which the base passes into the 
shaft of a column, PI. C, 241 

Apse, di//i9, a semicircular or poly- 
gonal recess, PI. H., 3U9 

Araeostijlos, apaedcrruAos, with wide 
intercolumniatiou, 171 

Architrave, k-TTLcnvKiov, that part of 
the entablature which rests upon 
the columns, Pis. C. and E., 191 

Asser, li/.i';, small rafter, lath, 213 
Astragal, do-rpayaXos, a convex mould- 
ing with long and short beads, 187 
Axis, afis, the centre of a volute, 
PI. C, 188 ; rem., a plank, 212, cf . 
Caes. S.C. II. 9 

Base, ^da-L^, the lowest part of a 
column, PI. C, 207 

Basilica, fiaa-iKiK-^, a lawcourt, 257 

Bed, cubiculum, the level surface on 
which a brick or stone or joist is 
laid, 216. 

Bedjoint, Kuhile, ap/j-hs utttios, the 
mortar or cement filling in, between 
the bed and the material above, 113 

Bond, coagnientalio, apixovia., the over- 
lapping of bricks or stones in a 
wall, 115 

Bondstone, diatonos, Sidroi/o?, /cpa- 
Tfi/TTJs, a stone stretching through 
wall, 117 

Bricks, lateres, irXlvSoi, made of sun- 
dried clay, used until the end of the 
liepublie, llti 

Burnt bricks, testae, ttXCvSoi oTrrai, 
kiln-baked bricks, came in with 
the Empire, 120 


Cantherius, KarOriKio^, principal rafter, 

Capital, capitulum, xe-fiaXaior, the 
bead of the column, 187 

Caryatides, Kopai, statues of women 
used as columns, 9 

Cathetoe, KoSeToi, perpendicular lines, 

Cella, (rr)K05, interior of shrine, 22G 

Coliculi, rer«., perh. KavXiov, Hesych., 
stalks in a Corinthian capital, 211 

Clamp, (Disa ferrea, Se'^a, band of iron 
for holding things together, 113 

Clathrata, SiKTviora, with lattice-work 
or bars, 23G 

Colossu.1, KoXorrtro';, statue more than 
life-size, 121 

Columen, Kopv(j>aloi', a ridge-piece, 212 

Column, columna, klu>v, an upright 
which includes base, shaft and 
capital, 177 

Concatneratio, /cajxapiocri;, vaulted ceil- 
ing, 305 

Coping, corona, flpiyico?, the top cover- 
ing of a wall, 129 

Corinthian Order, Corinthian genus, 
KopivBio^ pv$iJi6?, like the Ionic 
Order, PI. C, except that the capital 
is carved with acanthus leaves, 
PI. D., 203 

Cornice, corona, yeiaov, the top part 
of the entablature, PI. C. and PI. E., 

Corona, see Coping and Cornice 

Coved, concavum, di//i6oei5e'9, with a 
large concave curve, usually joining 
wall and ceiling 

Cymatium, Kvp-anov, a moulding, con- 
cave below, convex above, 195 ; 
egg and dart moulding of lonio 
capital, in. V. 7., 189 

Decastylos, SeKaoruAo;, with ten 

columns, 168 
Dentil, denticulus, -yeio-OTrovs, a cor- 
nice-ornament consisting of small 

square projections, 193 
Diastijlos, fitacrruXos, with inter- 

columniations of three diameters, 

Digitus, SaKTvXo^, -fg of a foot, 27 
Diminution of columns, contractiira, 

iiieia)(ri5, gradual contraction from 

base to capital, 179 

Entablature, epistylium. eTri^aXyj, 
e/xj3oXoi/, Eur. Baccli. 591, includes 
architrave, frieze and cornice, 117 

Entasis, ei/7-ao-ts, slightly convex curve 
of shaft, 181 

Epistyle, epistylium, eTncrrvKiov, 
architrave, 191 

Eustylos, eutTTuAos, with iutercolumni- 
ations of 2J diameters, 171 

Exedra, e^eSpa, curved recess opening 
upon a colomiade, 308 

Exostylc, Twi/ efu) o-TTjAaii'. with ex- 
terior colonnade, 175 

Facing, frons, 6 npoa-iiov ap/oids, vertical 

surface of wall, 113 
Fascia, raivia, a broad flat vertical 

band in the Ionic architrave, 193 
Fastigium, ieros, gable, pediment, 195 
Femur, n-qpo^, the space between the 

channels of a triglyph, 223 
Fillet, 'jtiadra, rau/ia, narrow flat band 

between two mouldings, 185 
Flute, stria, pa/36o5, the upright 

channels or narrow bamls which 

surround the shaft of a column, 225 
Frieze, zophorux, ^ox^dpos, the middle 

part of entablature, PI. C, 193 

Gnomon, indagator umbrae, crKioBripri^, 
index or pin of a sundial, .J9 

Guttae, (TTaXdy/xM, small truncated 
cones under the triglyrihs, and on 
the soffit of the mutules, in the 
Doric order, PI. E., 203 

Hanging-floor, suspensurae, floor sup- 
ported ou small piers, usually of 
brick, 303 

Header, dintonos, /cpaTeuTTjs, stone or 
brick with shorter surface on face 
of wall, 117 

Helices, eXixes, small spirals spring- 
ing out of the stalks in a Corinthian 
capital, 211 

Hcmitryghjphus, y]p.iTpvyXv(bo^, half a 
triglyph, 224 

Heiastylos, efao-TuAo;, with six 
columns in front, 175 

Hyjiaethral, hypaethros, vnaiBpo^, open 
to the sky, 167 

Uyperthyrum, superliminare, vTzipBv 
pov, lintel of a door or gate, 235 

Hypotraclielion, iiffOTpax>)Aioi', necking 
of a column, 195 


Incerlum opus, Roman walliug faced 
with stoues of irregular shape, 


Intercoliimniation, intercolumnium, jie- 

a-o(TTv\iov, space between columns, 

Iiitertigninm, /xerorr^, space between 

two ends of beams, 216 
Ionic Order, ionicum genus, iwi/tKos 

pveix6<;, PL C, 1G9 
Isodomum, io-oSonoi', built in equal 

coiurses, 115 

Jamb, postis, (rraOixo';, side-post of a 
door or other opening, VI. viii., 2 

Joists, tigna, raceiai, narrow beams 
of wood with oblong section, 213 

Lacunar, (fxiri/wjaa, SoAos Kot-XocrTaB- 

/arjTo?, a dome, vault or ceiling with 

panelled surface, 141 
Lath, asser, i/xas, narrow strip of wood, 

Jjintel, superliminare, vnepOvpov, beam 

over doorway, 235 

Mausoleum, M.av(To\elov, tomb of 

llausolus; any large tomb, 121 
Metope, ix^Toir-q, space between ends 

of beams, or between triglyphs 

which symbolise the ends of beams, 

Mitre, Stayiui/ioi^, a diagonal joint; 

perhaps in nngue, 235 
Module, modulus, ejui.(3aT)jp, the unit 

of measurement, 159 
Monopteris, /ioi/on-repo?, with a single 

range of coltimns, and no enclosing 

wall, 241 
Mortar, materia, tttjXos, cementing 

material, 113 
Mortice, securicla, SaxrvXios, hole in a 

frame, which receives the tenon of 

some other part, 240 
Mutule, mutulus, lK<j)opd, a projecting 

block, 184 

Octastylos, 6<ctix(jtuXo9, with a front 
of eight columns, 175 

Orchestra, opx-qa-Tpa, lit. dancing-place 
in Greek theatre ; in Roman theatre, 
reserved for Senate or other im- 
portant persons PI. G., 283 

Orders of Architecture, genera, 'pvBjj.oi, 
Doric, Ionic, Corinthian 

Palm, palmus, TraXacmj, J of a foot, 27 
Peripteros, TreptTrrepo?, building with 

colormade all round, 167 
Peristyles, Trepi'a-TuXo?, range of 

columns surrounding a building, 

Pier, pila, a-TiijKrt, small column to 

supjiort floor, above the ground, 304 
Pilaster, antae, napaa-TdSe-;, square 

columns adjoined to walls, 166; 

adjoined to column, parastaticae, 

napaarvKiOv, 259 
Pillow, pulvinus, Trpoo-fce^aAaioi', the 

side of the Ionic volute, 259 
Plinth, plintlius, ttAiVSo?, lowest part 

of column, square and with vertical 

face, 171 
Podium, TrdSioi/, cf. ' footing ' : raised 

platform on which a building, or 

the surrounding colonnade, rests, 

Portico, porticus, cttoo, obs. porch 

(e.g. Solomon's, A.V.), a colonnade 
Posticum, napdBvpoi;, the back door; 

oTTio-edSo/xo;, back of temple, 167 
Pronaos, Trpoi'aos, the space between 

the cella or interior of temple and 

the front portico, 169 
Proscenium, irpoa-Krji'tov, the platform 

in front of the scenery of the 

theatre, the stage, 283 
Prostiilos, TTpoa-ruAos, having columns 

in front, 167 
Pseudodipteros, i/jevSoSiVrepos, PI. B., 

having a double colormade, with 

the inner row of columns omitted 
Pteroma, TTTepw/ia, the colonnade sur- 
rounding a building, 227 
Pulvinus, see Pillow 
Purlin, templum, (T4i-qKl<TK0^, hori- 
zontal timbers resting upon the 

principal rafters, and carrying the 

smaller rafters, asseres, 212 
Pycnoslylos, TrvKi/ao-ruAo?, with inter- 

columniations of IJ diameters, 171 

Quadrant, quadrans, T^rpa.';, quarter 
of a circle, 219 

Rafter, cantherius, perh. Kai'SrjAios, 
the main sloping timbers of a roof 
on which the tiles are laid, 213 

Rail, inpages, fu-j/di' the cross-pieces 
enclosing the panels of a door, 237 

Reticulatum, Roman wall with a 


diaper pattern of diamond-shaped 
faces of stone or other material, 


Eidge-piece, columen, Kopv4>aiov, hori- 
zontal joist along ridge of roof 

Eiser, crassitudo, tto-xo^, upright part 
of step, 183 

Rubble, caementum, Xarvir-q, rough 
walling, dry or cemented with 
mortar, 113 

Sapwood, torulus, alburnum, to. Trpbs 

Trji' juiJTpai/, the soft outer layers 

of a tree-trunk, 133 
ScamiUus, or vem.scabillus, vttoitoSloi', 

a step, 184 
Scotia, rpoxiAos, hollow moulding be- 
tween the fillets of the tori of the 

base, 185 
Set-square, noma, yvuifi-iov, a right- 
angled triangle of wood, used in 

setting out drawings or buildings, 9 
Settle, subsido, KadC^u), sinking down 

of buildings on foundations, 131 
Shaft, scapiis, o-Kan-o?, the part of the 

column between the base and 

capital, 179 
Sima = cyma, specially applied to 

top moulding of cornice, 195 
SofEt, TO vwdvepOe, the under-surface 

of a cornice, ceiling or arch, 221 
Springing, supercilium, highest part 

of vertical wall, the starting-point 

of an arch, 285 
Stalks, see colicuU 
Stereobata, crTepeO|Sa-rr)s, the platform 

on which a building stands, 181 _ 
StUe, scapus, a-Kano';, the upright 

pieces enclosing the panels of a 

door, 237 
Stretcher, longitlldo, Trapa. irXeypdv, 

stone or brick with longer face on 

surface of wall, 115 
Strut, capreolus, v7r66e(u.a, an upright 

wooden post supporting ridge-piece, 

Stucco, opus tectorium, KovCaixa, a 

finely worked plaster, 95 

Stylobata, crrvkopdrrf;, the continuous 
base on which a colonnade rests 

Systylos, crva-TvXo^, with intercolumni- 
ations of two diameters, 171 

Taenia, quadra, a narrow flat band or 
fillet, 221 

Tenon, siibscus, aairtSia-Kii, end of wood 
or metal, fitting into a mortice or 
socket, 210 

Tetraslylos, Terpdo-TvXos, with four 
columns in front, 173 

Tholus, eoAo?, a dome, 243 

Torus, cnrelpa, a rounded convex 
moulding, 185 

Tread, retractatio, eiruroXT), the hori- 
zontal surface of a step, 183 

Triglyphus, Tpiykv^o^, vertical chan- 
nelled ornaments in a Doric frieze, 

Tuscan Order, tuscanicum genus, 
imitated from the Etruscans, 239 

Tympanum, Tvp.Tra.vov, the flat tri- 
angular surface enclosed by a 
pediment, 195; the panel of a 
door, 237 

L'pright joint, commissura, a.pp.6<;, the 
joint between two stones or brick 
in the same course, 113 

Vanishing-point, centrum, Kevrpov, the 
point to which retreating lines 
converge in perspective drawings, 

Vault, concameratio, Kap.a.piaixa, an 
arched ceiling; a chamber with 
arched ceiling, 305 

Volute, roluta, e'Aif, spiral at the side 
of an Ionic capital, 189 

■Wattled, craticitis, cf. yippov, walls 
of plaster held together by wicker- 
work, 129 

Zophorus, ^ax^dpo?, frieze, middle 
part of entablature, 193 




VOL. I. 




1 Cum divina tua mens et numen, imperator Caesar, 
imperio potiretur orbis terrarum invictaque virtute 
cunctis hostibus stratis triumpho victoriaque tua 
cives gloriarentur et gentes omnes subactae tuum 
spectarent nutum populusque Romanus et senatus 
liberatus timore amplissimis tuis cogitationibus 
consiliisque gubernaretur, non audebam, tantis 
occupationibus, de architectura scripta et magnis 
cogitationibus explicata edere, metuens, ne non apto 
tempore interpellans subirem tui animi offensionem, 

2 Cum vero adtenderem te non solum de vita 
communi omnium curam publieaeque rei eonstitu- 
tionem habere sed etiam de opportunitate publicorum 
aedificiorum, ut civitas per te non solum provinciis 
esset aucta, verum etiam ut maiestas imperii publi- 
corum aedificiorum egregias haberet auctoritates, 
non putavi praetermittendum, quin primo quoque 

^ Augustus' admiral defeated Antony and Cleopatra at 
Actium 31 B.C. 

^ The young Octavian had shared in the proscription of 
42 B.C., but his triumph of 31, was followed by an amnesty. 




1. When your Highness 's divine mind and power, 

Caesar, gained the empire of the world,^ Rome 
gloried in your triumph and victory. For all her 
enemies were crushed by your invincible courage 
and all mankind obeyed your bidding ; the Roman 
people and senate were not only freed from fear ^ but 
followed your guidance, inspired as it was by a 
generous imagination. Amid such affairs I shrank 
from publishing my writings on architecture in 
which I displayed designs made to a large scale, for I 
feared lest by interrupting at an inconvenient time, 

1 should be found a hindrance to your thoughts. 

2. But I observed that you cared iiot only about 
the common life of all men, and the constitution of 
the state, but also about the provision ^ of suitable 
public buildings ; so that the state was not only 
made greater through you by its new provinces, 
but the majesty of the empire also was expressed 
through the eminent dignity of its public build- 
ings. Hence I conceived that the opportunity 

' Augustus boasted that he found a Rome of brick, and left 
one of marble. 



tempore de his rebus ea tibi ederem, ideo quod 
primum parent! tuo de eo fueram notus et eius 
virtutis studiosus Cum autem concilium caelestium 
in sedibus inmortalitatis eum dedicavisset et 
imperium parentis in tuam potestatem transtulisset, 
idem studium meum in eius memoria permanens in 
te contulit favorem. 

Itaque cum M. Aurelio et P. Minidio et Cn. 
Cornelio ad apparationem balistarum et scorpionum 
reliquorumque tormentorum refectionem fui praesto 
et cum eis commoda accepi, quae, cum prime mihi 
tribuisti recognitionem, per sororis commendationem 

Cum ergo eo beneficio essem obligatus, ut ad 
exitum vitae non haberem inopiae timorem, haec 
tibi scribere coepi, quod animadvert! multa te 
aedificavisse et nunc aedificare, reliquo quoque 
tempore et publicorum et privatorum aedificiorum, 
pro amplitudine rerum gestarum ut posteris memoriae 
traderentur, curam habiturum. Conscripsi prae- 
scriptiones terminatas, ut eas adtendens et ante 
facta et futura qualia sint opera, per te posses nota 
habere. Namque his voluminibus aperui omnes 
disciplinae rationes. 

^ Augustus was the great nephew of Julius Caesar, and was 
adopted by his will. Augustus' mother Atia belonged to 
Aricia, near Nemi. The name occurs on tiles found at Nemi. 
Atia's mother Julia was the sister of Caesar (whose bust was 
found at Nemi and is now in the Castle Museum, Nottingham). 

2 Artillery described in Book X. 

BOOK I. Preface 

should be taken at once of bringing before you my 
proposals about these things : the more so, because 
I had been first known to your father ^ herein, whose 
virtues I revered. When, however, the Council of 
Heaven gave him an abode in the mansion of the 
immortals and placed in your power your father's 
empire, that same zeal of mine which had remained 
faithful to his memory found favour also with you. 

Therefore, along with M. Aurelius and P. Minidius 
and Cn. Cornelius, I was put in charge of the con- 
struction and repair of baUstae ^ and scorpioiies - and 
other engines of war, and, along with my colleagues, 
received advancement. After first granting me this 
survey orship,^ you continued it by the recommend- 
ation of your sister. 

3. Since, then, I was indebted to you for such 
benefits that to the end of life I had no fear of poverty, 
I set about the composition of this work for you. For 
I perceived that you have built, and are now building, 
on a large scale. Furthermore, with respect to the 
future, you have such regard to public and private 
buildings, that they will correspond to the grandeur 
of our history, and will be a memorial to future ages. 
I have furnished a detailed treatise so that, by 
reference to it, you might inform yourself about the 
works already complete or about to be entered 
upon. In the following books I have expounded a 
complete system of architecture. 

^ It was in a similar capacity that Vitruvius controlled the 
plumbing at Rome. Frontin. Aquaed. 23. 


1 Arciiitecti est scientia pluribus disciplinis et 
variis eruditionibus ornata, [cuius iudicio probantur 
omnia] ^ quae ab ceteris artibus perficiuntur. Opera 
ea nascitur et fabrica et ratiocinatione. Fabrica est 
continuata ac trita usus meditatio, quae manibus 
perficitur e materia cuiuscumque generis opus est 
ad propositum deformationis. Ratiocinatio autem 
est, quae res fabricatas soUertiae ac rationis pro- 
portione demonstrare atque explicare potest. 

2 Itaque architect!, qui sine litteris contenderant, 
ut manibus essent exercitati, non potuerunt efficere, 
ut haberent pro laboribus auctoritatem ; qui autem 
ratiocinationibus et litteris solis confisi fuerunt, 
umbram non rem persecuti videntur. At qui 
utrumque perdidicerunt, uti omnibus armis ornati 
citius cum auctoritate, quod fuit propositum, sunt 

3 Cum in omnibus enim rebus, tum maxime 
etiam in architectura haec duo insunt, quod 
significatur et quod significat. Significatur proposita 
res, de qua dicitur ; banc autem significat demon- 
stratio rationibus doctrinarum explicate. Quare 
videtur utraque parte exercitatus esse debere, qui 
se architectum profiteatur. Itaque eum etiam 
ingeniosum oportet esse et ad disciplinam docilem. 

^ cuius iudicio probantur omnia G S : om. H. 

^ The misunderstanding of opera as " works " instead of 
" personal service " led to the erroneous punctuation which 
puts the period after instead of before opera. The reading and 
punctuation of the text are found curiously enough in the 


BOOK I. c. I. 


1. The science of the architect depends upon 
many discipUnes and various apprenticeships which 
are carried out in other arts. His personal service ^ 
consists in craftsmanship and technology. Crafts- 
manship is continued and familiar practice, which is 
carried out by the hands ^ in such material as is 
necessary for the purpose of a design. Technology 
sets forth and explains things wrought in accordance 
with technical skill and method. 

2. So architects who without culture aim at manual 
skill cannot gain a prestige corresponding to their 
labours, while those who trust to theory and litera- 
ture obviously follow a shadow and not reality. 
But those who have mastered both, like men equipped 
in full armour, soon acquire influence and attain 
their purpose. 

3. Both in general and especially in architecture 
are these two things found ; that which signifies 
and that which is signified. That which is signified 
is the thing proposed about which we speak ; that 
which signifies is the demonstration unfolded in 
systems of precepts. Wherefore a man who is to 
follow the architectural profession manifestly needs 
to have experience of both kinds. He must have 
both a natural gift ^ and also readiness to learn. 

very late Vatican MS. Codd. Urbin. 1360 except that opera 
ehis, replaces opera ea. 

2 The word "hand " scarcely occurs in the index to Plato, 
and is glorified by Aristotle who defines it as organon organon 
" the tool which makes tools." 

^ Vitruvius recognises the genius of the craftsman. 



Neque enim ingenium sine disciplina aut disciplina i 
sine ingenio perfectum artificeni potest efficere. Et 
ut litteratus sit, peritus graphidos, eruditus geo- 
nietria, historias complures noverit, philosophos 
diligenter audierit, musicam scierit, medicinae non 
sit ignarus, responsa iurisconsultorum noverit, 
astrologiam caelique rationes cognitas habeat. 

4 Quae cur ita sint, haec sunt causae. Litteras 
architectum scire oportet, uti commentariis me- 
moriam firmiorem efficere possit. Deinde gra- 
phidis scientiam habere, quo facilius exemplaribus 
pictis quam velit operis speciem deformai-e valeat. 
Geometria autem plura praesidia praestat archi- 
tecturae ; et primum ex euthygrammis circini tradit 
usum, e quo maxime facilius aedificiorum in areis 
expediuntur descriptiones normarumque et libra- 
tionum et linearum directiones. Item per opticen 
in aedificiis ab certis regionibus caeli lumina recte 
ducuntur. Per arithnieticen vero suniptus aedi- 
ficiorum consummantur, mensurarum rationes expli- 
cantur, difficilesque symmetriarum quaestiones geo- 
metricis rationibus et methodis inveniuntur. 

5 Historias autem plures novisse oportet, quod multa 
ornamenta saepe in operibus architecti designant, 
de quibus argumentis rationem, cur fecerint, quae- 
rentibus reddere debent. Quemadmodum si quis 
statuas marmoreas muliebres stolatas, quae caria- 
tides dicuntur, pro columnis in opere statuerit et 
insuper mutulos et coronas conlocaverit, percontanti- 

^ aut sine ingenio disciplina G. 

^ Note the reference to water-colour drawings. 

BOOK I. c. I. 

(For neither talent without instruction nor instruction 
without talent can produce the perfect craftsman.) 
He should be a man of letters, a skilful draughtsman,/; \ 
a mathematician, familiar with scientific inquiries, a : 
diligent student of philosophy, acquainted with I 
music ; not ignorant of medicine, learned in the 
responses of jurisconsults, familiar with astronomy | 
and astronomical calculations. < 

4. The reasons why this should be so are these. 
An architect must be a man of lettei's that he may 
keep a recoi'd of useful precedents. By his skill in 
draughtsmanship he will find it easy by coloured ^ 
drawings to represent the effect desired. Mathe- 
matics again furnishes many resources to architecture. 
It teaches the use of rule and compass and thus 
facilitates the laying out of buildings on their sites 
by the use of set-squares, levels and alignments. 
By optics, 2 in buildings, lighting is duly drawn from 
certain aspects of the sky. By arithmetic, the cost 
of building is summed up ; the methods of mensura- 
tion are indicated ; while the difficult problems of 
symmetry are solved by geometrical rules and 
methods. 5. Architects ought to be familiar with 
history because in their works they often design 
many ornaments about which they ought to render 
an account to inquirers. For example, if anyone in 
his work sets up, instead of columns, marble statues 
of long-robed women which are called caryatids,^ and 
places mutules and cornices above them, he will thus 

^ The science of optics includes perspective to which many 
references will be found. 

* The caryatides of the Erechtheum at Athens were first 
known as korai or " maidens." 


bus ita reddet rationem. Caria, civitas Pelopon- 
nensisji cum Persis hostibus contra Graeciam con- 
sensit, Postea Graeci per victoriam gloriose bello 
liberati communi consilio Cariatibus bellum indixe- 
runt. Itaque oppido capto, viris interfectis, civitate 
declarata ^ matronas eorum in servitutem abduxe- 
runt, nee sunt passi stolas neque ornatus matronales 
deponere, uti non una triumpho ducerentur, sed 
aeterno, servitutis exemplo gravi eontumelia pressae 
poenas pendere viderentur pro eivitate. Ideo qui 
tunc architecti fuerunt aedificiis publicis designa- 
verunt earuni imagines oneri ferundo conlocatas, ut 
etiam posteris nota poena peccati Cariatium mem- 
6 oriae traderetur. Non minus Lacones, Pausania 
Agesilae 3 filio duce, Plataeeo^ proelio pauca manu 
infinitum numerum exercitus Persarum cum supera- 
vissent, acto cum gloria triumpho spoliorum et 
praedae, porticum Persicam ex manubiis, laudis et 
virtutis civium indicem, victoriae posteris pro tro- 
paeo constituerunt. Ibique captivorum simulacra 
barbarico vestis ornatu, superbia meritis contumeliis 
punita, sustinentia tectum conlocaverunt, uti et 
hostes horrescerent timore eorum fortitudinis effectus, 
et cives id exemplum virtutis aspicientes gloria 
erecti ad defendendam libertatem essent parati. 

1 peloponnessis H. ^ de forte sensu privativo. 

3 Agesilae Sch. * Plataeeo Joe : pitalco H. 

1 The legend reported here may perhaps be explained by the 
traditional enmity of the Carians in Asia Minor, II. viii. 12; 
IV. i. 5. The spelling of H. Caria, throws some doubt upon the 
usual reference to the Arcadian Caryae. The Cnidians used 
caryatid figures (of a style similar to the early draped female 
statues of the Acropolis) in their treasury at Delphi. These 
may have originated the legend. 

BOOK I. c. I. 

render an account to inquirers. Caria,^ a Pelopon- 
nesian state, conspired with the Persian enemy 
against Greece. Afterwards the Greeks, gloriously 
freed from war by their victory, with common 
purpose went on to declare war on the inhabitants 
of Caria. The town was captured ; the men were 
killed ; the state was humiliated. Their matrons 
were led away into slavery and were not allowed to 
lay aside their draperies and ornaments. In this 
way, and not at one time alone, were they led in 
triumph. Their slavery was an eternal warning. 
Insult crushed them. They seemed to pay a penalty 
for their fellow-citizens. And so the architects of 
that time designed for public buildings figures of 
matrons placed to carry burdens ; in order that 
the punishment of the sin of the Cariatid women 
might be known to posterity and historically recorded. 
6. Not less the Spartans under the command of 
Pausanias, son of Agesilas,^ having conquered 
with a small force an infinitely large army of Persians, 
gloriously celebrated a triumph with spoils and 
plunder, and, from the booty, built the Persian 
Colonnade^ to signify the merit and courage of the 
citizens and to be a trophy of victory to their descend- 
ants. There they placed statues of their captives 
in barbaric dress — punishing their pride with deserved 
insults — to support the I'oof, that their enemies 
might quake, fearing the workings of such bravery, 
and their fellow-citizens looking upon a pattern of 
manhood might by such glory be roused and pre- 
pared for the defence of freedom. Therefrom many 

" Herod iv. 81, says Cleombrotus. 
3 At Sparta, Paus. III. xi. 3. 


Itaque ex eo multi statuas Persicas sustinentes 
epistylia et ornamenta eorum conlocaverunt, et ita 
ex eo argumento varietates egregias auxerunt operi- 
bus. Item sunt aliae eiusdem generis historiae, 
quarum notitiam architectos tenere oporteat. 

7 Philosophia \ ero perficit architeetum animo magno 
et uti non sit adrogans, sed potius facilis, aequus et 
fidelis, sine avaritia, quod est maximum ; nullum 
enim opus vere sine fide et castitate fieri potest ; 
ne sit cupidus neque in munei'ibus accipiendis 
habeat aniraum occupatum, sed cum gravitate suam 
tueatur dignitatem bonam famam habendo ; et 
haec enim philosophia praescribit. Praeterea de 
rerum natura, quae graece physiologia dicitur, 
philosophia explicat. Quam necesse est studiosius 
novisse, quod habet multas et varias naturales quaes- 
tiones. Ut etiam in aquarum ductionibus. Incursi- 
bus enim et circuitionibus et librata planitie ex- 
pressionibus spiritus naturales aliter atque aliter 
fiunt, quorum offensionibus mederi nemo poterit, 
nisi qui ex philosophia principia rerum naturae 
noverit. Item qui Ctesibii ^ aut Archimedis et 
ceterorum, qui eiusdem generis praecepta con- 
scripserunt, leget, sentire non poterit, nisi his rebus 

8 a philosophis erit institutus. Musicen autem sciat 
oportet, uti canonicam rationem et mathematicam 
notam habeat, praeterea balistarum, catapultarum, 
scorpionmn temperaturas possit recte facere. In 

1 Ctesibii Joe. 

^ Vitruvius was acquainted with Lucretius' poem " On the 
Nature of Things," IX. iii. 17. 

^ An engineer at Alexandria, c. 250 B.C. 
^ An engineer at Syracuse, c. 250 B.C. 


BOOK I. c. 1. 

have set up Persian statues to support architraves 
and their ornaments. This motive has supphed for 
their works some striking variations. There are 
also other narratives of the same kind with which 
architects should possess acquaintance. 7. Philo- 
sophy, however, makes the architect high-minded, 
so that he should not be arrogant but rather urbane, 
fair-minded, loyal, and what is most important, 
without avarice ; for no work can be truly done 
without good faith and clean hands. Let him not 
be greedy nor have his mind busied with acquiring 
gifts ; but let him with seriousness guard his dignity 
by keeping a good name. And such are the in- 
junctions of philosophy. Philosophy, moreover, 
explains the "nature of things " i (and this in 
Greek is physiologia), a subject which it is necessary 
to have studied carefully because it presents many 
different natural problems, as, for example, in the 
case of water-supply. For in the case of water- 
courses, where there are channels or bends or 
where water is forced along on a levelled plane, 
natural air-pockets are produced in different ways, 
and the difficulties which they cause cannot be 
remedied by anyone unless he has learnt from 
philosophy the principles of nature. So also the 
man who reads the works of Ctesibius ^ or Archimedes^ 
and of others who have written manuals of the same 
kind will not be able to pei*ceive their meaning, 
unless he has been instructed herein by philosophers. 
8. A man must know music that he may have 
acquired the acoustic ^ and mathematical relations 
and be able to carry out rightly the adjustments of 
balistae, catapultae and scorpiones. For in the cross- 

* Gell. XVI. xviii. 5. 



capitulis enim dextra ac sinistra sunt foramina hemi- 
toniorum, per quae tenduntur suculis ^ et vectibus e 
nervo torti funes, qui non praecluduntur nee prae- 
ligantur, nisi sonitus ad artifieis aures certos et 
aequales fecerunt. Bracchia enim, quae in eas 
tentiones ineluduntur, cum extenduntur, aequaliter 
et pariter utraque ^ plagam mittere debent ; quodsi 
non homotona ^ fuerint, inpedient directam telorum 
9 missionem. Item theatris vasa aerea, quae in cellis 
sub gradibus mathematica ratione conlocantur 
quae Graeei echeia appellant ; sonitum et discrimina 
ad symphonias musicas sive concentus componuntur 
divisa in circinatione diatessaron et diapente et 
disdiapason, uti vox scaenici sonitus conveniens in 
dispositionibus tactu cum ofFenderit, aucta cum 
incremento clarior et suavior ad spectatorum per- 
veniat aures. Hydraulicas quoque machinas et 
cetera, quae sunt similia his organis, sine musicis 
10 rationibus efficere nemo poterit. Disciplinam vero 
medicinae novisse oportet propter inclinationem 
caeli, quae Graeei climata dicunt, et aeris et locorum, 
qui sunt salubres aut pestilentes, aquarumque usus ; 
sine his enim rationibus nulla salubris habitatio 
fiei'i potest. lura quoque nota habeat oportet, ea 
quae necessaria sunt aedificiis communibus parietum 
ad ambitum stillicidiorum et cloacarum, luminum. 

^ suculis Joe. ^ utraque rec. 

* homotona Phil. 

^ Philander's reading Iwmotona, "equal tones," is tempting. 
2 Book V. V. 7. 3 Book X. 

* These subjects are treated in Hippocrates, rfe acre aquis 

* " The right of blocking the lights of a neighbour's house, 
of running water or dropping water," Gains, II. 14. Cicero's 


BOOK I. c. I. 

beams on right and left are holes " of half-tones " 
{hemitonia) ^ through which ropes twisted out of 
thongs are stretched by windlasses and levers. And 
these ropes are not shut off nor tied up, unless they 
make clear and equal sounds in the ear of the crafts- 
man. For the arms which are shut up under those 
strains, when they are stretched out, ought to 
furnish an impetus evenly, and alike on either side. 
But if they do not give an equal note, they will 
hinder the straight direction of the missiles. 9. In 
theatres, also, are copper vessels and these are placed 
in chambers under the rows of seats in accordance 
with mathematical reckoning. The Greeks call 
them echeia.^ The differences of the sounds which 
arise are combined into musical symphonies or 
concords : the circle of seats being divided into 
fourths and fifths and the octave. Hence, if 
the delivery of the actor from the stage is adapted 
to these contrivances, when it reaches them, it 
becomes fuller, and reaches the audience with a 
richer and sweeter note. Or again, no one who 
lacks a knowledge of music can make water-engines ^ 
or similar machines. 10. Again, he must know the 
art of medicine * in its relation to the regions of the 
earth (which the Greeks call climata) ; and to the 
characters of the atmosphere, of localities (wholesome 
or pestilential), of water-supply. For apart from 
these considerations, no dwelling can be regarded as 
healthy. He must be familiar with the rights or 
easements which necessarily belong to buildings with 
party walls, as regards the range of eaves-droppings, 
drains andlighting.^ The water-supply, also, and other 

phrase iura parietum, luminum, stillicidiorum, de Or. I. 173, 
exactly corresponds to Vitruvius. 



Item, aquarum ductiones et cetera, quae eiusmodi 
sunt, nota oportet sint architectis, uti ante caveant 
quam instituantaedificia,necontroversiae factis operi- 
bus patribus familiarum relinquantur, et ut legibus 
scribendis prudentia cavere possit et locatori et 
conductori ; namque si lex pei'ite fuerit scripta, erit 
ut sine captione uterque ab utroque liberetur. Ex 
astrologia autem cognoscitur oriens, occidens, meri- 
dies, septentrio, etiam caeli ratio, aequinoctium, 
solstitium, astrorum cursus ; quorum notitiam si 
quis non habuerit, horologiorum rationem omnino 
scire non poterit. 

11 Cum ergo tanta haec disciplina sit, condecorata et 
abundans eruditionibus variis ac pluribus, non puto 
posse iuste repente profiteri architectos, nisi qui 
ab aetate puerili his gradibus disciplinarum scandendo 
scientia plerarumque i litterarum et artium nutriti 
pervenerint ad summum templum architecturae. 

12 Ac fortasse mirum videbitur inperitis hominibus 
posse naturam tantum numerum doctrinarum perdis- 
eere et memoria continere. Cum autem anim- 
adverterint omnes disciplinas inter se coniunctionem 
rerum et eommunicationem habere, fieri posse 
facihter credent ; encychos enim disciphna uti corpus 
unum ex his membris est composita. Itaque qui a 
teneris aetatibus eruditionibus variis instruuntur, 
omnibus htteris agnoscunt easdem notas communi- 
cationemque omnium disciphnarum, et ea re facihus 
omnia cognoscunt. Ideoque de veteribus architectis 

^ plerarumque Frisemann : plerumque H. 

^ lex denotes all kinds of contracts. 
2 Book IX. 

* Cicero groups together medicine, architecture, and teaching 
as honourable to persons of a lower class. Off. I. 151. 


BOOK I. c. I, 

related matters, ought to be familiar to architects : 
so that, before building is begun, precautions may 
be taken, lest on completion of the works the pro- 
prietors should be involved in disputes. Again, in 
writing the specifications,^ careful regard is to be 
paid both to the employer and to the contractor. 
For if the specification is carefully -written, either 
party may be released from his obligations to the 
other, without the raising of captious objections. 
By astronomy we learn the east, the west, the south 
and the north ; also the order of the heavens, the 
equinox, the solstice, the course of the planets. 
For if anyone is unfamiliar with these, he will fail 
to understand the construction of clocks.^ 

11. Since, therefore, so great a pi-ofession ^ as 
this is adorned by, and abounds in, varied and 
numerous accomplishments, I think that only these 
persons can forthwith justly claim to be architects 
who from boyhood have mounted by the steps of 
these studies and, being trained generally in the 
knowledge of arts and the sciences, have reached 
the temple of architecture at the top. 12. But 
perhaps it will seem wonderful to inexperienced 
persons that human nature can master and hold in 
recollection so large a number of subjects. When, 
however, it is perceived that all studies are related 
to one another and have points of contact, they will 
easily believe it can happen. For a general educa- 
tion is put together like one body from its members. 
So those who ft-om tender years are trained in 
various studies recognise the same characters in 
all the arts and see the intercommunication of all 
disciplines, and by that circumstance more easily 
acquire general information. And, therefore, one 


VOL. I. C 


Pythius, qui Prieni ^ aedem Minervae nobiliter est 
architectatus, ait in suis commentariis architectum 
omnibus artibus et doctrinis plus oportere posse 
facere, quam qui singulas res suis industriis et exer- 
citationibus ad summam claritateni perduxerunt. 

13 Id autem re non expeditur. Non enim debet nee 
potest esse architectus granunaticus, uti fuerit Aris- 
tarchus, sed non agrammatus, nee musicus ut Aris- 
toxenus, sed non amusos, nee pictor ut Apelles, sed 
graphidos non inperitus, nee plastes queniadmodum 
Myron seu Polyclitus, sed rationis plasticae non 
ignarus, nee denuo medieus ut Hippocrates, sed non 
aniatrologicus,^ nee in ceteris doctrinis singulariter 
excellens, sed in is ^ non inperitus. Non enim in 
tantis rerum varietatibus elegantias singulares quis- 
quam consequi potest, quod earum ratiocinationes 
cognoscere et percipere vix cadit in potestatem. 

14 Nee tamen non tantum architecti non possunt in 
omnibus rebus habere summum effectum, sed etiam 
ipsi qui privatim proprietates tenent artium, non 
efficiunt,^ ut habeant omnes summum laudis princi- 
patum. Ergo si in singulis doctrinis singuli artifices 
neque omnes sed pauci aevo perpetuo nobilitatem 
vix sunt consecuti, quemadmodum potest archi- 
tectus, qui pluribus artibus debet esse peritus, non 
id ipsum mirum et magnum facere, ne quid ex his 

1 prieni H : primus \ prieni G. 
* aniatrologetus H'G : -gecus H. 
3 his ^. ^ effiunt H. 

^ Of Alexandria, Librarian of the Museum, c. 150 B.C.; 
first defined the eight parts of speech. 

^ Book V. iv. 

* Of Colophon : greatest painter of antiquity, especially 
of portraits, c 350 B.C. 


BOOK I. c. I. 

of the old architects Pythius, who was the designer 
of the noble temple of Minerva at Priene, says in 
his Commentaries that an architect ought to be 
able to do more in all arts and sciences than those 
who, by their industry and experience, have advanced 
individual arts to the highest renown. But that is 
not in fact established. 13. For an architect ought 
to be and can be no critic like Aristarchus,^ yet not 
without culture ; no musician Hke Aristoxenus,^ yet 
not without knowledge of music ; no painter like 
Apelles,^ yet not unskilled with his pencil ; no 
sculptor like Myron * or Polyclitus,** yet not ignorant 
of the plastic art ; nor in fine a physician like Hippo- 
crates,® yet not unskilled in medicine ; nor in other 
sciences excelling in a singular manner, yet in these 
not unskilled. For in so great a variety of things 
no one can in every case attain minute perfection, 
because it scarcely falls into his power to acquire 
and understand their methods. 14. Yet while archi- 
tects are thus not able in every art to achieve the 
highest perfection, even those who severally possess 
the qualities of the craftsman do not all succeed in 
reaching supreme mastery. Therefore, since in each 
art, single craftsmen, not all, but few throughout 
the ages have scarcely attained renown, why should 
not an architect, who has to be skilled in several 
arts, count it a fine achievement if he is not deficient 
in anything belonging to them ? How can he hope 

* Of the Attic school, early fifth century B.C., sculptor of 
the Discobolus. 

^ Of the Argive school, later fifth century B.C., sculptor of 
the Doryphorus, which established a canon of human pro- 

^ Hippocrates, born c. 460 B.C., founded a medical school 
at Cos. 

c 2 


indigeat, sed etiam ut omnes artifices superet qui 
singulis doctrinis adsiduitateni cum industria summa 

15 praestiterunt ? Igitur in hac re Pythius errasse 
videtur, quod non animadvertit ex duabus rebus 
singulas artes esse compositas, ex opere et eius 
ratiocinatione, ex his autem unum proprium esse 
eorum qui singulis rebus sunt exercitati, id est 
operis efFectus, alterum commune cum omnibus 
doctis, id est rationem, uti medicis et musicis et 
de venarum rythmo ^ ad pedem motus, ut si vulnus 
mederi aut aegrum eripere de periculo oportuerit, 
non accedet musicus, sed id opus proprium erit 
medici ; item in organo non medicus sed musicus 
modulabitur, ut aures suae cantionibus recipiant 

16 iucunditatem. Similiter cum astrologis et musicis 
est disputatio communis de sympathia stellarum et 
symphoniarum in quadratis et trigonis ^ diatessaron 
et diapente, a geometris de visu qui graece logos 
opticas appellatur ; ceterisque omnibus doctrinis 
multae res vel omnes communes sunt dumtaxat ad 
disputandum, Operuni vero ingressus qui manu 
aut tractationibus ad elegantiam perducuntur, 
ipsorum sunt, qui proprie una arte ad faciendum 
sunt instituti. Ergo satis abunde videtur fecisse, 
qui ex singulis doctrinis partes et rationes earum 
mediocriter habet notas, eas quae necessariae sunt 
ad architecturam, uti, si quid de his rebus et artibus 

17 iudicare et probare opus fuerit, ne deficiatur, Qui- 

^ pythmo H. - tiidonis H. 

1 Geometers as well as those who treat vision from the 
psychological standpoint. 

^ This, the reading of H, has been wrongly changed by 
some editors ; cf . supra, § 4. 

^ supra, § 1. 

BOOK I. c. I. 

for so great and remarkable a thing as to surpass 
craftsmen who have assiduously and with the greatest 
industry applied themselves to single employments ? 
15. Therefore in this matter Pythius seems to have 
erred because he failed to perceive that the several 
arts are composed of two things — ^craftsmanship and 
the theory of it. Of these the one, craftsmanship, 
is proper to those who are trained in the several 
arts, namely, the execution of the work ; the other, 
namely, theory, is shared with educated persons. 
Physician and musician alike deal with the rhythm 
of the pulse and the movement of the feet. For 
example, if a man has to heal a Avound or to rescue 
a sick man out of danger, it is not the musician who 
will come, but it will be the special work of a physician. 
So also in the case of a musical instrument, a musician 
and not a physician will be in control so that one's 
ears may receive the sweetness of a song. 16. Like- 
wise there is a question common to astronomers and 
musicians about the sympathy of stars and of the 
concords, fourths and fifths, in quadrants and tri- 
angles ; and geometers ^ treat about vision, which 
in Greek is called logos opticas ^ ; thus throughout 
all the sciences many things, or indeed all, are in 
common so far as theory is concerned. But the 
taking up of work which is finely executed by hand,^ 
or technical methods, belongs to those who have 
been specially trained to work in a single trade. 
Therefore, he seems to have done quite enough who 
in the several arts is moderately familiar with the 
branches and methods which are necessary to archi- 
tecture, so that he is not at a loss when it is neces- 
sary to judge and test any work done in these other 
departments and trades. 17. But those individuals 



bus vero natura tantum tribuit sollertiae, acuminis, 
memoriae, ut possint geometriam, astrologiam, 
musicen ceterasque disciplinas penitus habere notas, 
praetereunt officia architectorum et efRciuntur 
mathematici. Itaque faciliter contra eas disciplinas 
disputare possunt, quod pluribus telis disciplinarum 
sunt armati. Hi autem inveniuntur raro, ut ali- 
quando fuerunt Aristarchus Samius, Philolaus et 
Archytas Tarentini, Apollonius Pergaeus, Eratos- 
thenes Cyrenaeus, Archimedes et Scopinas ab 
Syracusis, qui multas res organicas, gnomonicas 
numero naturahbusque rationibus inventas atque 
explicatas posteris rehquerunt. 
i8 Cum ergo talia ingenia ab naturali sollertia non 
passim cunctis gentibus sed paucis viris habere con- 
cedatur, officium vero architect! omnibus eruditioni- 
bus debeat esse exercitatum, et ratio propter ampli- 
tudinem rei permittat non iuxta necessitatem sum- 
mas sed etiam mediocris ^ scientias habere dis- 
ciphnarum, peto, Caesar, et a te et ab is, qui ea 
volumina sunt lecturi, ut, si quid parum ad regulam 
artis grammaticae fuerit exphcatum, ignoscatur. 
Namque non uti summus philosophus nee rhetor 
disertus nee grammaticus sununis rationibus artis 
exercitatus, sed ut architectus his litteris inbutus 
haec nisus sum scribere. De artis vero potestate 
quaeque insunt in ea ratiocinationes polhceor, uti 
spero, his voluminibus non modo aedificantibus sed 

^ mediocris H. 

1 Celebrated mathematician at Alexandria, c. 275 B.C. 
'^ Contemporary of Plato, Pythagorean philosopher. 
^ Followed Euclid at Alexandria. 

* Encyclopedic mathematician, astronomer and geographer. 
Librarian of the Museum at Alexandria, died c. 195 B.C. 

BOOK I. c. r. 

on whom nature has bestowed so much skill, acumen, 
retentiveness that they can be thoroughly familiar 
with geometry, astronomy, music and other studies, 
go beyond the duties of an architect and are to be 
regarded as mathematicians. And thus they can 
easily dispute about those subjects because they are 
armed with the weapons provided by their studies. 
Such men, however, are rarely met. We can point 
to Aristarchus ^ of Samos ; Philolaus ^ and Archytas ^ 
of Tarentum ; Apollonius ^ of Perga ; Eratosthenes ^ 
of Cyrene ; Archimedes ^ and Scopinas ^ from Syra- 
cuse. They have left to after times many treatises 
on machinery and clocks, in which mathematics and 
natural laws are used to discover and explain. 

18. Yet it is not granted to nations as a whole, 
but only to few individuals, to have such genius_^ 
owing to their natural endowment. At the same / 
time the architect in his work ought to be practised 
in all accomplishments. Yet reason, in view of the 
scope of the matter, does not permit us, as need 
demands, to have a complete, but only a moderate, 
knowledge of the various subjects involved. Hence 
I beg your Highness and the other readers of thtese 
volumes to pardon any explanation that too little 
agrees with the rules of the literary art. For it is 
not as a lofty thinker, nor as an eloquent speaker, 
nor as a scholar practised in the best methods of 
literary criticism, but as an architect who has a 
mere tinge of these things, that I have striven to 
write the present treatise. But in respect to the 
meaning of my craft and the principles which it 
involves, I hope and undertake to expound them 

^ Killed at siege of Syracuse, 212 B.C. 

* Invented a sundial placed in the Circus Flaminius. 



etiam omnibus sapientibus cum maxima auctoritate 
me sine dubio praestaturum. 


1 Architectura autem constat ex ordinatione, 
quae graece taxis dicitur, et ex dispositione, hanc 
autem Graeci diathesiii vocitant, et eurythmia et 
symmetria et decore et distributione quae graece 
oeconomia dicitur. 

2 Ordinatio est modica membrorum operis com- 
moditas separatim universeque proportionis ^ ad sym- 
metriam comparatio. Haec conponitur ex quanti- 
tate, quae graece posotes ^ dicitur. Quantitas autem 
est modulorum ex ipsius operis sumptio e singulisque 
membrorum partibus universi operis conveniens 

Dispositio autem est rerum apta conlocatio ele- 
gansque ^ conpositionibus efFectus operis cum quali- 
tate. Species dispositionis, quae graece dicuntur 
ideae, sunt hae : ichnographia, orthographia, scaeno- 
graphia. Ichnographia est circini regulaeque modice 
continens usus, e qua ^ capiuntur formarum in solis ^ 
arearum descriptiones. Orthographia autem est 
erecta frontis imago modiceque picta rationibus 

1 proportionis S. ^ possotes H. 

' eligans H. * equa G : aequa H. 

^ solis G : soliis H. 

^ taxis and oeconomia are mentioned together by the author 
of the treatise On the Suhlime, I. 4. Vitrnvius assembles 
terms of aesthetic criticism without clearly distinguishing. 
Wordsworth's phrase " proportion and congruity " indicates 
the essence of the classical manner {Prose ]Yorks, II. 127). 


BOOK I. c. i.-c. II. 

Avith assured authority, not only to persons engaged 
in building but also to the learned world. 



1. Now ai'chitecture consists of Order, which in 
Greek is called taxis^ and of Arrangement, which 
the Greeks name diathesis, and of Proportion and 
Symmetry and Decor and Distribution which in 
Greek is called oeconomia? ' 

2. Order is the balanced adjustment of the details 
of the work separately, and, as to the whole, the 
arrangement of the proportion with a view to a 
symmetrical result. This is made up of Dimension, 
which in Greek is called posotes. Now Dimension 
is the taking of modules ^ from the parts of the 
work ; and the suitable effect of the whole work 
arising from the several subdivisions of the parts. 

Arrangement, however, is the fit assemblage of 
details, and, arising from this assemblage, the elegant 
effect of the work and its dimensions, along with a 
certain quality or character. The kinds of the 
arrangement (which in Greek are called ideae) are 
these : ichnography (jjlan) ; orthography (eleva- 
tion) ; scenography (perspective). Ichnography 
(plan) demands the competent use of compass and 
rule ; by these plans are laid out upon the sites 
provided. Orthography (elevation), however, is the 
vertical image of the front, and a figure slightly 

^ Vitruvius' three terms seem to correspond to Democritus' 
ordo posit lira fig urae given in Lucretius, I. 685. 
* Units of Measurement. 



operis futuri figura. Item scaenographia est frontis 
et laterum abscedentium adumbratio ad circinique 
centrum omnium linearum vesponsus. Hae nascun- 
tur ex cogitatione et inventione. Cogitatio est cura 
studii plena et industriae vigilantiaeque efFectus 
propositi cum voluptate. Inventio autem est quaes- 
tionum obscurarum explicatio ratioque novae rei 
vigore mobili reperta. Hae sunt terminationes 

Eurythmia est venusta species commodusque in 
conpositionibus membrorum aspectus. Haec efficitur, 
cum membra operis convenientia sunt altitudinis 
ad latitudinem, latitudinis ad longitudinem, et ad 
summam omnia respondent ^ suae symmetriae. 

Item symmetria est ex ipsius operis membris con- 
veniens consensus ex pai-tibusque separatis ad uni- 
versae figurae speciem ratae ^ partis responsus. Uti 
in hominis corpore e cubito, pede, palmo, digito 
ceterisque particulis symmetros est eurythmiae 
qualitas, sic est in operum perfectionibus.'* Et 
primum in aedibus sacris aut e columnarum crassi- 
tudinibus aut triglypho aut etiam embatere, ballista 
e foramine, quod Graeci peritreton vocitant, navibus 
interscalmio, quae dipechyaia ^ dicitur, item cete- 
rorum operum e membris invenitur symmetriarum 

Decor autem est emendatus operis aspectus pro- 
batis rebus conpositi cum auctoritate. Is perficitur 

^ respondent G : -deant H. 

^ ratae G : latae H. 

^ Snrrjxvala Sch : dipheciaca H. 

^ As in the canon of Polyclitus, Book I. i. 13. 
- Seems to denote architectural good manners or decorum 
in detail as well as generally. 


BOOK r. c. II. 

tinted to show the hnes of the future work. Sceno- 
graphy (perspective) also is the shading of the front 
and the retreating sides, and the correspondence of 
all lines to the vanishing point, which is the centre 
of a circle. These three (plan, elevation and per- 
spective) arise from imagination and invention. 
Imagination rests upon the attention directed with 
minute and observant fervour to the charming effect ^ 
proposed. Invention, however, is the solution of /\^4« (J^ 
obscure problems ; the treatment of a new under- ' ■ 
taking disclosed by an active intelligence. Such 
are the outlines of Arrangement. 

3. Proportion implies a graceful semblance ; the ] 
suitable display of details in their context. This is 
attained when the details of the work are of a 
height suitable to their breadth, of a breadth suit- 
able to their length ; in a word, when everything 
has a symmetrical correspondence. 

4. Symmetry also is the appropriate harmony 
arising out of the details of the work itself; the 
correspondence of each given detail among the 
separate details to the form of the design as a whole. 
As in the human body, from cubit, foot, palm, inch 
and other small parts comes the symmetric quality 
of eurhythmy ^ ; so is it in the completed building. -•• 
First, in sacred buildings, either from the thickness 
of columns, or a triglyph, or the module ; of a balista 
by the perforation which the Greeks call peritreton ; 
by the space between the rowlocks in a ship which 
is called dipechyaia : so also the calculation of 
symmetries, in the case of other works, is found from 
the details. 

5. Decor ^ demands the faultless ensemble of a 
work composed, in accordance with precedent, of 



statione, quod graece thematismo dicitur, seu con- 
suetudine aut natura. Statione, cum lovi Fulguri 
et Caelo et Soli et Lunae aedificia sub divo hypae- 
thraque constituentur ; horum enim deorum et 
species et effectus in aperto mundo atque lucenti 
praesentes vidimus. '^ Minervae et Marti et Herculi 
aedes doricae fient ; his enim diis propter virtutem 
sine deliciis ^ aedificia constitui decet. Veneri, 
Florae, Proserpinae, Fonti Lumphis ^ corinthio 
genere constitutae aptas videbuntur habere pro- 
prietates, quod his diis propter teneritatem graci- 
liora et florida foliisque et volutis ornata opera facta 
augere videbuntur iustum decorem. lunoni, Dianae, 
Libero Patri ceterisque diis qui eadem sunt simi- 
litudine, si aedes ionicae construentur, habita erit 
ratio medioci'itatis, quod et ab severo more dori- 
corum et ab teneritate coi'inthiorum temperabitur 
eorum institutio proprietatis. Ad consuetudinem 
autem decor sic exprimitur, cum aedificiis interio- 
ribus magnificis item vestibula convenientia et 
elegantia erunt facta. Si enim interiora prospectus * 
habuerint elegantes, aditus autem humiles et inho- 
nestos, non erunt cum decore. Item si doricis 
epistyliis in coronis denticuli sculpentur aut in 
pulvinatis columnis et ionicis epistyliis [capitulis] ^ 
exprimentur triglyphi,^ translatis ex alia ratione 
proprietatibus in aliud genus operis offendetur 
aspectus aliis ante ordinis consuetudinibus institutis. 

^ videmus G : vidimus H. 

" diliciis (-as H) H G. 

^ Lumphis Eo : fontycumphys H. 

* prospectus rec : perfectus H. 
^ capitulis del. Bo. 

* triglyphi Joe : triglyphis G : triclyphis H. 


BOOK I, c. II. 

approved details. It obeys convention, which in 
Greek is called thematismos, or custom or nature. 
Convention is obeyed when buildings are put up in 
the open and hypethral to Jupiter of the Lightning, 
to Heaven, the Sun, the Moon ; for of these gods, 
both the appearance and eifect we see present in 
the open, the world of light. To Minerva, Mars 
and Hercules, Doric temples will be built; for to 
these gods, because of their might, buildings ought 
to be erected without embellishments. Temples 
designed in the Corinthian style will seem to have 
details suited to Venus, Floi-a, Proserpine, Fountains, 
Nymphs; for to these goddesses, on account of their 
gentleness, works constructed with slighter propor- 
tions and adorned with flowers, foliage, spirals and 
volutes will seem to gain in a just decor. To Juno, 
Diana and Father Bacchus, and the other gods who 
are of the same likeness, if Ionic temples are erected, 
account will be taken of their middle quality ; because 
the determinate character of their temples will avoid 
the severe manner of the Doric and the softer 
manner of the Corinthian. 6. With reference to 
fashion, decor is thus expressed ; when to magnificent 
interiors vestibules also are made harmonious and 
elegant. For if the interior apartments present an 
elegant appearance, while the approaches are low 
and uncomely, they will not be accompanied bj 
fitness. Again, if, in Doric entablatures, dentils 
are carved on the cornices, or if with voluted capitals 
and Ionic entablatures, triglyphs are applied, char- 
acteristics are transferred from one style to another : 
the work as a Avhole will jar upon us, since it 
includes details foreign to the order.^ 7. There will 

^ This rule is generally observed in modern architecture. 



7 Naturalis autem decor sic erit, si primum omnibus 
templis saluberrimae regiones aquarumque fontes 
in his locis idonei eligentur, in quibus fana consti- 
tuantur, deinde maxime Aesculapio, Saluti, et 
eorum deorum quorum plurimi medicinis aegri 
curari videntur. Cum enim ex pestilenti in salu- 
brem locum corpora aegra translata fuerint et e 
fontibus salubribus aquarum usus subministrabuntur, 
celerius convalescent. Ita efficietur, uti ex natura 
loci maiores auctasque cum dignitate divinitas 
excipiat opiniones. Item naturae decor erit, si 
cubiculis et bybliothecis ab oriente lumina capiuntur, 
balneis et hibernaculis ab occidente hiberno, pinaco- 
thecis 1 et quibus certis luminibus opus est partibus, 
a septentrione, quod ea caeli regio neque exclaratur 
neque obscuratur solis cursu sed est certa inmutabilis 
die perpetuo. 

8 Distributio autem est copiarum locique commoda 
dispensatio parcaque in operibus sumptus ratione 
temperatio. Haec ita observabitur, si primum archi- 
tectus ea non quaeret, quae non potuerunt ^ inveniri 
aut parari nisi magno. Namque non omnibus locis 
harenae fossiciae nee caementorum nee abietis nee 
sappinorum nee marmoris copia est, sed aliud alio 
loco nascitur, quorum conportationes difficiles sunt 

^ pinacothicis H. * potuerunt H. 

1 The Temple of x\esculapius on the Isola Tiberina con- 
tained votive offerings of limbs in terracotta presented by- 
sick persons. 

^ Cicero's architect justifies the narrowness of windows by 
reference to a theory of vision based on Democrifcus or (less 
probably) Epicurus, ad. Att. II. 3, 


BOOK I. c. II. 

be a natural decor : first, if for all temples there shall 
be chosen the most healthy sites with suitable springs 
in those places in which shrines are to be set up ; 
secondly and especially for Aesculapius ^ and Salus ; 
and generally for those gods by whose medical power 
sick persons are manifestly healed. For when sick 
persons are moved from a pestilent to a healthy 
place and the water supply is from wholesome foun- 
tains, they will more quickly recover. So will it 
happen that the divinity (fi-om the nature of the 
site) will gain a greater and higher reputation and 


Also there will be natural seemliness if light ^ is 
taken from the east for bedrooms and librai-ies ; 
for baths and winter apartments, from the wintry 
sunset ; for picture galleries and the apartments which 
need a steady light, from the north, because that 
quarter of the heavens is neither illumined nor 
darkened by the sun's course but is fixed unchange- 
able throughout the day. 


8. Distribution or Economy, however, is the suit- 
able disposal of supplies and the site, and the thrifty 
and wise control of expense in the works. This vidll 
be guarded if, in the first place, the architect does 
not require what can only be supplied and prepared 
at great cost. For it is not everywhere that there 
is a supply of quarry sand or hewn stone, or fir or 
deal or marble. Different things are found in differ- 
ent places, the transport of them may be difficult 



et sumptuosae. Utendum autem est, ubi non est 
harena fossicia, fluviatica aut marina lota; inopiae 
quoque abietis aut sappinoruni vitabuntur utendo 
cupresso, populo, ulnio, pinu ; reliquaque his simi- 
9 liter erunt explicanda. Alter gradus erit distri- 
butionis, cum ad usum patrum familiarum et ad 
pecuniae copiam aut ad eloquentiae dignitatem 
aedificia alte disponentur. Namque aliter urbanas ^ 
domos oportei'e constitui videtur, aliter quibus ex 
possessionibus rusticis influunt fructus ; non idem 
feneratoribus, aliter beatis et delicatis ; potentibus 
vero, quorum cogitationibus respublica gubernatur, 
ad usum conlocabuntur ; et omnino faciendae sunt 
aptae omnibus personis aedificiorum distributiones. 


1 Partes ipsius architecturae sunt tres: aedificatio, 
gnomonice, machinatio. Aedificatio autem divisa 
est bipertito, e quibus una est moenium et com- 
munium operum in publicis locis conlocatio, altera 
est privatorum aedificiorum explicatio. Publicorum 
autem distributiones sunt tres, e quibus est una ^ 
defensionis, altera religionis, tertia opportunitatis. 
Defensionis est murorum turriumque et portarum 
ratio ad hostium impetus perpetuo repellendos 
excogitata, religionis deorum inmortalium fanorum 

^ urbanos G. ^ est una H : una est G. 

1 Horace describes the financier in the country, Epoch II. 
- Cicero spent enormous sums on his palaces. 
^ Ivfra, c. V. 


BOOK I. c. ii.-c. in. 

and costly. Now where there is no quarry sand 
we must use washed river or sea sand ; the need for 
fir or deal will be met by using cypress, poplar, elm, 
pine ; other difficulties will be solved in a like fashion. 
9. The second stage in Economy comes, when build- 
ings are variously disposed for the use of owners or 
mth a view to the display of wealth or lofty enough 
to suit the most dignified eloquence. For manifestly 
houses should be arranged in one way in towns ; in 
another way for persons whose income arises from 
country estates ; not the same for financiers ; ^ in 
another way for the wealthy men of taste ; for the 
powerful, however, by whose ideas the state is 
governed, there must be special adjustment to their 
habits. 2 And genei-ally the distribution of buildings 
is to be adapted to the vocations of their owners. 



1. The parts of architecture itself are three: 
Building (Books I-VIII), DiaUing (Book IX), and 
Mechanics (Book X). Building in turn is divided 
into two parts ; of which one is the placing of city 
walls, and of public buildings on public sites (Books 
I-V) ; the other is the setting out of private build- 
ings (Books VI-\TII). Now the assignment of 
public buildings is threefold : one, to defence ; the 
second, to religion ; the third, to convenience. The 
method of defence by walls, towers and gates has 
been devised with a view to the continuous warding 
off of hostile attacks ^ ; to religion belongs the placing 
of the shrines and sacred temples of the immortal 



aediumque sacraium conlocatio, opportunitatis com- 
munium locorum ad usum publicum dispositio,^ uti 
portusj fora, porticus, balinea,^ theatra, inambula- 
tiones ceteraque, quae isdem rationibus in publicis 
locis ^ designantur. 
2 Haec autem ita fieri debent, ut habeatur ratio 
firmitatis, utilitatis, venustatis. Firmitatis erit 
habita ratio, cum fuerit fundamentorum ad solidum 
depressio, quaque e materia, copiarum sine avaritia 
diligens electio ; utilitatis autem, <(cum fuerit) * 
emendata et sine inpeditione usus^ locorum dispositio 
et ad regiones sui cuiusque generis apta et conmoda 
distributio ; venustatis vero, cum fuerit operis 
species grata et elegans membrorumque commensus 
iustas habeat symmetriarum ratiocinationes. 


1 In ipsis vero moenibus ea erunt principia. Pri- 
mum electio loci saluberrimi. Is autem erit excelsus 
et non nebulosus, non pruinosus regionesque caeli 
spectans neque aestuosas neque frigidas sed tem- 
peratas, deinde sic vitabitur palustris vicinitas. Cum 
enim aurae matutinae cum sole oriente ad oppidum 
pervenient et his ortae nebulae adiungentur spiritus- 
que bestiarum palustrium venenatos cum nebula 
mixtos in habitatorum corpora flatu spargent, effi- 
cient locum pestilentem. Item si secundum mare 

^ uti H : ut G. 2 balinea H : balnea H'G. 

^ locis om. H. * add. Mar. 

^ usus rec : usu H. 

1 Books III and IV. 2 ^^q}^ y 

^ Vitruvius follows Varro, de re rustica (on Farming), 


BOOK I. c. iii.-c. IV. 

gods ^ ; to convenience, the disposal of public sites 
for the general use,^ such as harbours, open spaces, 
colonnades, baths, theatres, promenades, and other 
things which are planned, with like pui-poses, in 
public situations. 

2. Now these should be so carried out that account 
is taken of strength, utility, grace. Account will be 
taken of strength when the foundations are carried 
down to the solid ground, and when from each 
material there is a choice of supplies without par- 
simony ; of utility, when the sites are arranged 
without mistake and impediment to their use, and a 
fit and convenient disposition for the aspect of each 
kind ; of grace, when the appearance of the work 
shall be pleasing and elegant, and the scale of the 
constituent parts is justly calculated for symmetry. 



1. In the case of the walls these will be the main 
points : — First, the choice of the most healthy site. 
Now this will be high and free from clouds and hoar 
irost, with an aspect neither hot nor cold but tem- 
perate. Besides, in this way a marshy neighbour- 
hood shall be avoided. For when the morning: 


breezes come with the rising sun to a town, and 
clouds rising from these shall be conjoined, and, 
with their blast, shall sprinkle on the bodies of the 
inhabitants the poisoned breaths of marsh animals, 
they >, will make the site pestilential. Also if the 

I. xii. 2, who says that in marshy places, minute and invisible 
animals grow and cause diseases. The anticipation of the 
true cause of malaria (mosquitoes) is noteworthy. 

D 2 


erunt moenia spectabuntque ad meridiem aut occi- 
dentem, non erunt salubria, quod per aestatem 
caelum mei'idianum sole exoriente calescit meridie 
ardet ; item quod spectat ad occidentem, sole exorto 

2 tepeseit, meridie calet, vespere fervet. Igitur muta- 
tionibus caloris et refrigerationis corpora, quae in 
his locis sunt, vitiantur. Hoc autem licet animad- 
vertere etiam ex is, quae non sunt animalia. In 
cellis enim vinariis tectis lumina nemo capit a meridie 
nee ab occidente, sed a septentrione, quod ea regio 
nullo tempore mutationes recipit sed est firma per- 
petuo et inmutabilis. Ideo etiam et granaria quae 
ad solis cursum spectant, bonitatem cito mutant, 
obsoniaque et poma, quae non in ea parte caeli 
ponuntur, quae est aversa a solis cursu, non diu 

3 servantur. Nam semper calor cum excoquit aeribus 
firmitatem et vaporibus fervidis eripit exsugendo 
naturales virtutes, dissolvit eas et fervor e molles- 
centes efficit inbecillas. Ut etiam in ferro animad- 
vertimus, quod, quamvis natura sit durum, in for- 
nacibus ab ignis vapore percalefactum ita mollescit, 
uti in omne ^ genus formae faciliter fabricetur ; et 
idem, cum molle et candens refrigeretur tinctum 
frigida, redurescat et restituatur in antiquam pro- 

4 prietatem. Licet etiam considerare haec ita esse 
ex eo, quod aestate non solum in pestilentibus locis 
sed etiam in salubribus omnia corpora calore fiant 
inbecilla, et per hiemem etiam quae pestilentissimae 
sint regiones efficiantur salubres, ideo quod a re- 
frigerationibus solidantur. Non minus etiam quae 
ab frigidis regionibus corpora traducuntur in calidas, 

^ omni H. 

BOOK I. c. IV. 

walls are along the coast and shall look to the south 
or west they will not be wholesome, because through 
the summer the southern sky is warmed by the 
rising sun and burns at midday. Also that which 
looks to the western sun is warm at sunrise, hot at 
noon, burns in the evening. 2. Therefore by the 
changes of heat and cold, bodies which are in these 
places will be infected. We may even perceive this 
from those bodies which are not animal. For in 
wine stores no one takes light from the south or 
west but from the north, because that quarter at no 
time admits changes, but is continuously fixed and 
unchangeable. So also those granaries which look 
towards the sun's course quickly change their good- 
ness ; and fish and fruit which are not placed in that 
quarter which is turned away from the sun's course 
do not keep long. 3. For always, when heat cooks 
the strength out of the atmosphere and with warm 
vapours removes by suction the natural virtues, it 
dissolves and renders them weak, as they become 
softened by warmth. Moreover, we see the same 
thing in iron, which is hard by nature, and yet when 
it is heated through in furnaces, by the vapour of 
fire becomes so soft that it is easily fashioned into 
every kind of shape ; and when, being soft and red- 
hot, it is chilled and steeped in cold water, it hardens 
again and is restored to its previous character. 
4. We may also consider that this is so from the 
fact that in summer, not only in pestilential, but in 
salubrious districts, all bodies become weak by the 
heat ; and also, through the winter, even the regions 
which are most pestilential, are rendered salubrious 
because they are rendered solid by freezing. Not 
less also the bodies which are transferred from cold 



non possunt durare sed dissolvuntur ; quae autem 
ex calidis locis sub septentrionum regiones frigidas, 
non modo non laborant inmutatione loci valitu- 

5 dinibus sed etiam confirmantur. Quare cavendum 
esse videtur in moenibus conlocandis ab his regioni- 
bus quae caloribus flatus ad corpora hominum 
possunt spargere. Namque e ^ principiis quae 
Graeci stoicheia ^ appellant, ut omnia corpora sunt 
conposita, id est e calore et umore, terreno et aere, 
et ita mixtionibus naturali temperatura figurantur 
omnium animalium in mundo generatim qualitates. 

6 Ergo in quibus corporibus cum exsuperat e principiis 
calor, tunc interficit dissolvitque cetera fervore. 
Haec autem vitia efficit fervidum ab certis ^ partibus 
caelum, cum insidit in apertas venas plus quam 
patitur e mixtionibus naturali temperatura corpus. 
Item si umor occupavit corporum venas inparesque 
eas fecit, cetera principia ut a liquido * corrupta 
diluuntur, et dissolvuntur conpositionibus virtutes. 
Item haec e refrigerationibus umoris ventorum et 
aurarum infunduntur vitia corporibus. Non minus 
aeris etiamque terreni in corpore naturalis conpositio 
augendo aut minuendo infirmat cetera principia 
terrena cibi plenitate, aer gravitate caeli. 

7 Sed si qui voluerit diligentius haec sensu percipere, 
animadvertat attendatque ^ naturas avium et piscium 

^ e add. rec : om. H. 

^ stoechia H. 

^ certis ed : caeteris H. 

* liquido Kr : ut aliquida H, ut liquida G. 

^ attendat Joe : tendat H, intendat G. 

^ flatus = TTveu/xara. 

- Lit. " things in a series or row " ; hence elements or parts 


BOOK I. c. IV. 

to warm regions cannot endure but are dissolved ; 
while those Avhich are transferred from warm places 
under the northern regions not only do not suffer 
in health by the change of place but even are 
strengthened. 5. Wherefore in laying out walls 
we must beware of those regions which by their 
heat can diffuse vapours ^ over human bodies. For 
according as from the elements (which the Greeks 
call stoecheia) ^ all bodies are composed, that is 
from heat and moisture and earth and air, just so 
by these mixtures, owing to natural temperament, 
the qualities of all animals are figured in the world 
according to their kind. 6. Therefore in whatso- 
ever bodies, one of their principles, heat, is predomin- 
ant, it then kills them and by its fervency dissolves 
the rest. Now a hot sky from certain quarters pro- 
duces these defects ; since it settles into the open 
veins more than the body permits by its natural 
temperament or admixture. Again, if moisture had 
filled the veins of bodies and altered their dimen- 
sions, the other elements, as though decomposed by 
liquid, are diluted and the virtues dependent on 
their proportion are dissolved. So also from the 
chilling of moisture of winds and breezes, vices are 
infused into bodies. Not less the natural proportion 
of air and also of the earthy element by increase or 
diminution weakens the other elements ; the earthy 
by repletion of food, the aerial, by the heavy chmate. 
7. But if anyone wishes carefully to apprehend 
these things by perception, let him regard and 
attend to the natures ^ of birds and fishes and land 

of things. Plato first applied the term to the physical con- 
stituents of nature. 

' St. Paul I. Cor. xv. 39 uses an Ionic word choinos for 
earthy, but he is obviously deriving from the same source. 



et terrestrium animalium, et ita considerabit ^ dis- 
crimina temperaturae. Aliam enim mixtionem habet 
genus avium, aliam piscium, longe aliter terrestrium 
natura. Volueres minus habent terreni, minus 
umoris, caloris temperate,^ aeris multum : igitur 
levioribus prineipiis conpositae facilius in aeris im- 
petum nituntur. Aquatiles autem piscium naturae, 
quod temperatae sunt a ealido plurimumque et aeris 
et terreni sunt conpositae, sed umoris habent oppido 
quam paulum, quo minus habent e prineipiis umoris 
in corpore, facihus in umore perdurant; itaque cum 
ad terram perducuntur, animam cum aqua relinquvmt. 
Item terrestria, quod e prineipiis ab acre caloreque 
sunt temperata minusque habent terreni pkiri- 
mumque umoris, quod abundant umidae partes, non 

8 diu possunt in aqua vitam tueri. Ergo si haec ita 
videntur, quemadmodum proposuimus, et e prineipiis 
animalium corpora composita sensu percipimus et 
exsuperationibus aut defectionibus ea laborare dis- 
solvique iudicamus, non dubitamus, quin diligentius 
quaeri oporteat, uti temperatissimas oaeli regiones 
eligamus, cum quaerenda fuerit in moenium conlo- 

9 cationibus salubritas. Itaque etiam atque etiam ve- 
terem revocandam censeo ^ rationem. Maiores enim 
pecoribus immolatis, quae paseebantur in is locis, 
quibus aut oppida aut castra stativa constituebantur, 

^ consideravit H. * temperate G : -tae 11. 

^ cens & H. 

^ Vitruvius' scientific method is both deductive and experi- 
mental. The neo-Attic revival in sculpture has a parallel in 
the revival of Greek science at Rome. 

2 The fixed camps were to become towns like Chester and 


BOOK I. c. IV. 

animals, and he will so consider differences of tem- 
pei'ament or admixture. For the race of birds has 
one temperament, fishes another, far otherwise 
the nature of land animals. Birds have less of the 
earthy, less of moisture, modei'ate heat, much air. 
Therefore being compounded of the lighter prin- 
ciples, they rise more easily against the onrush of 
the air. But fishes with their watery nature (because 
they are tempered by heat and are compounded of 
much air and earth, but have remarkably little 
moisture), the less they have of the principles of 
moisture in their frame, the more easily they persist 
in moisture ; and so when they are brought to land 
thev lose their life along with the water. Terrestrial 
animals, also, because they have a moderate degree 
of the elements of air and heat, and have less of the 
earthy and more moisture, inasmuch as they abound 
in moisture, cannot keep alive long in water. 
8. Therefore if these matters are accepted as we 
have set forth, and if we apprehend by perception 
that the bodies of animals are compounded of ele- 
ments, and if we judge that they suffer and are 
dissolved by excess or defect of them, we do not 
doubt that we must dihgently seek to choose the 
most temperate regions of climate, since we have to 
seek healthiness in laying out the walls of cities. 


9. Therefore emphatically I vote for the revival of 
the old method. 1 For the ancients sacrificed the 
beasts which were feeding in those places where 
towns or fixed camps ^ were being placed, and they 
used to inspect the livers, which if at the first trial 



inspiciebant iocinera, et si erant livida et vitiosa 
primo alia immolabant dubitantes utrum morbo an 
pabuli vitio laesa essent. Cum pluribus experti erant 
et probaverant integram et solidam naturam ioci- 
nerum ex aqua et pabulo, ibi oonstituebant muni- 
tiones ; si autem vitiosa inveniebant, iudicio trans- 
ferebant idem in humanis corporibus pestilentem 
futuram nascentem in his locis aquae cibique copiam, 
et ita transmigrabant et mutabant regiones quae- 

10 rentes omnibus rebus salubritatem. Hoc autem fieri, 
uti pabulo ciboque salubres proprietates terrae vide- 
antur, licet animadvertere et eognoscere agris Cre- 
tensium, qui sunt circa Pothereum flumen, quod est 
Cretae inter duas civitates Gnoson et Gortynam.^ 
Dextra enim et sinistra eius fluminis pascuntur pe- 
cora; sed ex his quae pascuntur proxime Gnoson, si 
quae autem ex altera parte proxime - Gortynam non, 
habent apparentem splenem. Unde etiam medici 
quaerentes de ea re invenerunt in his locis herbam, 
quam pecora rudendo inminuerunt lienes. Ita eam 
herbam colligendo curant lienosos hoc medicamento, 
quod etiam Cretenses asplenon vocitant. Ex eo 
licet scire cibo atque aqua proprietates locorum 
naturaliter pestilentes aut salubres esse. 

11 Item si in paludibus moenia constituta erunt, quae 
paludes secundum mare fuerint, spectabuntque ad 
septentrionem aut inter septentrionem et orientem, 
eaeque paludes excelsiores fuerint quam litus mari- 

^ cortynam H, cortinam G. 
2 proxime G^ : -ma H. 

1 This argument from analogy requires the retention of 
idem in the text. 

2 Cnossus, the capital of a pre-Homeric civilisation, which 


BOOK I. c. IV. 

they were livid and faulty, they went on to sacrifice 
others, doubting whether they were injured by disease 
or faulty diet. When they had made trial of many, 
and had tested the entii-e and solid nature of the 
livers in accordance with the water and pasture they 
established there the fortifications ; if, however, 
they found them faulty, by analogy ^ they judged: 
that the supply of food and water which was to be 
found in these places would be pestilential in the 
case of human bodies. And so they removed else- 
where and changed their quarters, seeking salubrity 
in every respect, 10. But that it comes about that 
the salubrious properties of the soil are indicated by 
fodder and diet, we may take note and learn from 
the districts of Crete which are about the river 
Pothereus, which flows between the two towns 
Cnossus ^ and Gortyna."* For cattle feed on the 
right and left bank of that river. But of these, the 
cattle which feed next Cnossus have, and those on the 
other side have not, an enlarged spleen. Whence 
also physicians inquiring about this matter have 
found in these places a plant which the cattle bellow 
for and, by it, lessen their spleens. So they gather 
this plant and use this medicine to cure the splenetic, 
which also the Cretans call asplenon. Hence we may 
know by food and water whether the properties of 
places are pestilential or salubrious. 

11. So also if in marshes walls are laid out, and 
these marshes are along the sea, and they look 
towards the north or between the north and east, 
and these marshes are higher than the sea-coast, 

covered the islands of the Levant and anticipated the archi- 
tecture and other arts of later Greece. 
* Succeeded Cnossus as capital of Crete. 



num, ratione videbuntur esse constituta. Fossis enim 
ductis aquae exitus ad litus, et mare ^ tempestatibus 
aueto in paludis redundantia motionibus concitata 
marisque ^ niixtionibus non patitur bestiarum palus- 
trium genera ibi nasci, quaeque de superioribus locis 
natando proxime litus perveniunt, inconsueta salsi- 
tudine necantur. Exemplar autem huius rei Gallieae 
paludes possunt esse, quae cireum Altinum, Raven- 
nam, Aquileiam, aliaque quae in eiusmodi locis muni- 
cipia sunt proxima paludibus, quod his rationibus 
12 habent ineredibilem salubritatem. Quibus autem 
insidentes sunt paludes et non habent exitus pro- 
fluentes neque ^ flumina neque per fossas, uti Pomp- 
tinae, stando putescunt et umores graves et pesti- 
lentes in is locis emittunt. 

Item in Apulia oppidum Salpia vetus, quod 
Diomedes ^ ab Troia rediens constituit sive, 
quemadmodum nonnulli scripserunt, Elpias Rho- 
dius, in eiusmodi locis fuerat conlocatum, ex 
quo incolae quotannis ^ aegrotando laborantes ali- 
quando pervenerunt ad M. Hostilium ab eoque pub- 
lice petentes impeti-averunt, ut his ^ idoneum locum 
ad moenia transferenda conquireret elegeretque. 
Tunc is moratus non est, sed statim rationibus doc- 
tissime quaesitis secundum mare mercatus est pos- 
sessionem loco salubri ab senatuque populoque R.' 
petit, ut liceret transferre oppidum, eonstituitque 

1 mare H : marl G. ^ marique H. 

* per (flum.) om. H. * diomedis H. 

^ quodannis H. ^ ut his H, uti his G. 

'' romano G, i H. 

^ Between Aquileia and Padua. 

^ Ravenna protected by its marshes. 

^ Aquileia, founded 182 B.C., as bidwark on N.E. 


BOOK I. c. IV. 

they will seem to be reasonably laid out. For if 
dykes are cut, there is made an outlet of water to the 
beach ; and when the sea is swollen by storms, there 
is an overflow into the marshes, which being stirred 
and moved about and mixed with sea salt, does not 
permit the various kinds of marsh creatures to be 
born there ; moreover, those which, by swimming 
from higher parts, arrive near the coast, are killed 
by the unfamiliar saltness. An instance of this 
may be found in the Gallic marshes which are round 
Altinuniji Ravenna,^ Aquileia ^ and other to vnships 
in like places which are nearest the marshes. For 
owing to these causes, they have an incredible salu- 
brity. 12. Those places, however, which h^\e 
stagnant marshes, and lack flowino- outlets, whether 
rivers or by dykes, like the Poniptine marshes., by 
standing become foul and send forth heavy and 
pestilent moisture. 


Also in Apulia, the town of Old Salpia (which 
Diomede returning from Troy established, or, aa 
some have written, Elpias of Rhodes), was situated in 
such places. Thus the inhabitants suffered every 
year from various ailments. At length they came * 
to M. Hostilius, and, making a ]nibKc request, ob- 
tained from him that he should seeV. out and choose 
a fit site for transferring their v.alls. Then he 
delayed not, but forthwith, after fully ascertaining 
all the conditions, bought a site in a healthy place, 
and obtained permission from the senate and Roman 
people to remove the town. He established the walls 

* c. 200 B.C. 



moenia et areas divisit mummoque sestertio singulis 
municipibus mancipio dedit. His confectis lacum 
aperuit in mare et portum e lacu munieipio perfeeit. 
Itaque nunc Salpini quattuor milia passus progressi ab 
oppido veteri ^ habitant in salubri loco. 


1 Cur> ergo his rationibus erit salubritatis moenium^ 
conlccandorum explicatio regionesque electae fuerint 
fructibus ad alendam civitatem copiosae, et viarum 
miaitiones aut opportunitates fluminum seu per 
portus marinae subvectionis habuerit ad moenia 
<!onportationes expeditas, tunc turrium mui'orumque 
fundamenta sic sunt facienda, uti fodiantur, si queant 
inveniri, ad solidum et in solido, quantum ex ampli- 
tudine operis pro ratione videantur,^ erassitudine 
ampliore quam parietum qui supra terram sunt 
futuri, et ea impleantur quam solidissima structura. 

2 Item turres sunt proiciendae in exteriorem partem, 
vti, cum ad murum hostis impetu velit adpropinquare, 
a turribus dextra ao sinistra lateribus apertis telis 
vulnerentur. Curandumqiie maxime videtur, ut non 
facilis aditus sit ad oppugnandum murum, sed ita 
circumdandum ad loea praecipitia et excogitandum, 
uti portarum itinera non sint directa sed scaeva. 
Namque cum ita factum fuerit, tum ^ dextrum latus 
accedentibus, quo 5 scuto non erit tectum proximum 

' veteri H -re G ; in H : oni. G. 

2 moenium Phil : inmoenium H. 

3 videatur G : -antur HS. 

* tum H : dum G. s ^^^ jjq_ 

BOOK I. c. iv.-c. V. 

and divided the sites and gave formal possession to 
the individual townsmen for a sesterce each. When 
this was done he opened the lake into the sea, and 
made a harbour out of the lake for the municipality. 
And so the people of Salpia now dwell on a healthy 
site at a distance of four miles from the old town. 



1. When, therefore, by these methods there shall 
be ensured healthiness in the laying out of the walls ; 
and districts shall be chosen abounding in fruit to feed 
the citizens ; and roads duly laid out, or convenient 
rivers, or supplies by sea through the harbours, shall 
have ready transport to the ramparts : then the 
foundations of the towers and walls are to be laid. 
If such foundations can be found, they are to be dug 
down to the solid and in the solid, as may seem 
proportionate to the amplitude of the work, of a 
breadth greater than that of the walls which shall 
be above the ground ; and these foundations are to 
be filled with as solid structure as possible. 2. Towers, 
moreover, are to be projected on the outer side, in 
order that when the enemy wishes to approach the 
wall in an attack, he may be wounded on his exposed 
flanks by weapons on the right and left from the 
towers. And it seeins that care must especially be 
taken that the approach be not easy for .an enemy 
blockading the wall. The approach must be made 
to wind along the steep places, and so devised that 
the ways to the gates are not straight, but on the left 



erit muro. Conlocanda autem oppida sunt non qua- 
drata nee procurrentibus angulis sed circuitionibus, 
uti hostis ex pluribus loeis conspieiatur. In quibus 
enim anguli procurrunt, diffieiliter defenditur, quod 

3 angulus magis hostem tuetur quam civem. Crassi- 
tudinem autem muri ita faeiendam censeo, uti armati 
homines supra obviam venientes alius alium sine inpe- 
ditione praeterire possint, dum in crassitudine per- 
petuae tabulae oleagineae ustilatae quam creberrime 
instruantur, uti utraeque muri frontes inter se, 
quemadmodum fibulis, his taleis conligatae aeternam 
habeant firmitatem ; namque ei materiae nee caries ^ 
nee tempestates ^ nee vetustas potest nocere, sed ea 
et in terra obruta et in aqua eonlocata permanent ^ 
sine vitiis utilis sempiterno. Itaque non solum in 
muro sed etiam in substructionibus quique parietes 
murali crassitudine erunt faciundi, hac ratione reli- 

4 gati non cito vitiabuntur. Intervalla autem turrium 
ita sunt facienda, ut ne longius sit alia ab alia sagittae 
missionis,^ uti, si qua oppugnetur, tum a turribus, 
quae erunt dextra sinistra, scorpionibus reliquisque 
telorum missionibus hostes reiciantur. Etiamque 
contra inferiores turrium dividendus est murus inter- 
vallis tam magnis, quam erunt turres, ut itinera sint 
interioribus partibus turrium contignata, neque ea 
ferro fixa. Hostis enim si quam partem muri occu- 
paverit, qui repugnabunt rescindent et, si celeriter 
administraverint, non patientur reliquas partes tur- 

^ nee aries a. c. G, necessaries a. c. H. - tempestas G. 
^ permanet G : permanent E. "* sagitta emissionis B, 

1 Vitruvius follows the general traditions of Roman for- 
tification. He is especially confirmed by the walls of Pompeii. 


BOOK I. c. V. 

of the wall. For when it is so done, then as the troops 
approach, their right side will be next the wall 
and will not be protected by the shield. Moreover, 
towns are not to be planned square ^ nor with pro- 
jecting angles, but on the round, so that the enemy 
be seen from several sides. For when angles run 
out, defence is difficult, because the angle defends 
the enemy rather than the townsmen. 3. But I 
think the width of the wall should be so made that 
armed men meeting one another above can pass 
without hindrance. Then, in the width, through- 
timbers of charred olive wood should be put very 
frequently, in order that both fronts of the wall, 
being tied together by these timbers, as though by 
pins, may have evei-lasting strength. For such 
timber cannot be injured by decay or weather 
or age ; even when it is covered with soil or placed 
in M^ater, it remains unimpaired and useful for ever. 
And so not only the city wall, but the substructures, 
and those dividing walls which are made to be of 
the thickness of fortifications, when united in this 
manner, will not quickly be decayed. 4. The dis- 
tances between the towers are so to be made that one 
is not further from another than a bowshot ; so that 
if a tower is besieged anywhere, then, by " scor- 
pions " and other missile engines from the towers 
right and left, the enemy may be thrown back. And 
also opposite the lower part of the towers, the wall 
is to be divided by intervals as wide as a tower ; and 
these intervals opposite the interior parts of the 
towers shall be joined with planks. These, however, 
are not to be fixed with iron nails. For if the enemy 
occupies any part of the wall, the defenders shall cut 
them down, and if they manage it quickly, they will 


VOL. I. E 


rium murique hostem penetrare, nisi se voluerit 
6 praecipitare. Turres itaque vutundae ^ aut poly- 
goneae ^ sunt faciendae ; quadratas enim machinae 
celerius dissipant, quod angulos arietes tundendo 
frangunt, in rotundationibus autem, uti cuneus,^ ad 
centrum adigendo laedere non possunt. Item muni- 
tiones muri turriumque aggeribus coniunctae maxime 
sunt tutiores, quod neque arietes neque suifossiones 

6 neque machinae eeterae eis valent nocere. Sed non 
in omnibus locis est aggeris ratio facienda, nisi quibus 
extra murum ex alto loco piano pede accessus fuerit 
ad moenia* oppugnanda. Itaque in eiusmodi locis 
primum fossae sunt faciendae latitudinibus et alti- 
tudinibus quam amplissimis, deinde fundamentum 
muri deprimendum est intra alveum fossae et id ex- 
truendum est ea crassitudine, ut opus terrenum facile 

7 sustineatur. Item interiore parte substructionis 
fundamentum distans ab exteriore introrsus amplo 
spatio, ita uti cohortes possint quemadmodum in acie 
instructae ad defendendum supra latitudinem aggeris 
consistere. Cum autem fundamenta ita distantia 
inter se fuerint eonstituta, tune inter ea alia trans- 
versa, coniuncta exteriori et interiori fundamento, 
peetinatim disposita quemadmodum serrae dentes 
Solent ^ esse conlocentur ; cum enim sic erit factum, 
tunc ita oneris terreni magnitudo distributa in parvas 
partes ; neque universa pondere ^ premens poterit 

8 ulla ratione extrudere muri substructiones, De ipso 

1 rutundae a. c. H. ^ polygonea HG. 

3 cuneus H. * munia H. 

® solentes se G, solventes se H. ^ pondera G. 


BOOK I. c. V. 

not suffer the enemy to penetrate the rest of the 
towers and wall, unless he is willing to throw himself 
headlong. 5. The towers therefore are to be made 
round or polygonal. For engines more quickly 
demolish square towers, because the battering-rams 
beat and break the angles ; whereas in the case of 
rounded surfaces, even when they drive the batter- 
ing-rams wedge-fashion towards the centre, they can- 
not hurt them. Further, the fortifications of the wall 
and towers especially when joined by embankments 
are safer, because neither battering-rams nor under- 
mining nor other contrivances avail to injure them. 
6. But not in all places is the method of embank- 
ment to be employed ; only where there is an 
approach outside the wall from high ground by a 
level footway for troops besieging the ramparts. 
Therefore in places of this kind, ditches are to be 
made of the amplest possible breadth and depth ; 
then the foundation of the wall is to be carried down 
within the hollow of the ditch, and is to be con- 
structed of such a thickness that the weight of earth 
is easily held up. 7. Also on the inner side of the 
substructure another foundation is to be laid, so far 
distant from the outer foundation that cohorts can 
stand upon the broad rampart for its defence, as when 
drawn up in line of battle. Now when the founda- 
tions are fixed at such a distance from each other, 
then between these let there be placed other trans- 
verse walls joined to the outer and inner foundation, 
arranged comb-fashion, as the teeth of a saw are 
wont to be. For when it shall so be done, then the 
greatness of the load of earth being thus distributed 
into small parts, will not press with the whole weight, 
so as to thrust out the substructures of the wall. 

E 2 


autem muro, e qua ma.teria struatur aut perficiatur, 
ideo non est praefiniendum, quod in omnibus locis, 
quas optamus copias, eas non possumus habere. Sed 
ubi sunt saxa quadrata sive silex seu caementum aut 
coctus later sive crudus, his erit utendum. Non 
enim, uti Babylone abundantes liquido bitumine pro 
calce et harena ex ^ eocto latere factum habent 
murum, sic item possunt omnes regiones seu locorum 
proprietates habere tantas eiusdem generis utili- 
tatis,2 uti ex his comparationibus ad aeternitatem 
perfectus habeatur sine vitio murus. 


MoENiBUS circumdatis secuntur ^ intra murum area- 
rum divisiones platearumque et angiportuum ad 
eaeli regionem directiones. Dirigentur haee autem 
recte, si exclusi erunt ex angiportis venti prudenter. 
Qui si frigidi sunt, laedunt ; si calidi, vitiant ; si 
umidi, nocent. Quare vitandum videtur hoc vitium 
et avertendum, ne fiat quod in multis civitatibus usu 
solet venire. Quemadmodum in insula Lesbo oppi- 
dum Mytilenae magnificenter est aedificatum et 
eleganter, sed positum non prudenter. In qua civi- 

^ ex Ro: et(&) H. " utilitatis H. ^ secuntur H. 

1 Vitruvius probably draw's upon Herodotus, Book I. 

2 Town-planning was especially studied by the Greek 
architects. Hippodamus of Miletus laid out the Piraeus, the 
port of Athens, and in 443 B.C. Thuiii. Dinocrates laid out 
Alexandria. These cities had square blocks with wide streets. 


BOOK I. c. v.-c. VI. 

8. Respecting the wall itself and the material of 
which it is built or finished, there must be laid down 
no rule beforehand ; because we cannot have in all 
places the supplies which we desire. But where 
there are squared stones, or concrete or lava or 
baked brick or unburnt, we must use them. For 
whereas at Babylon,^ where they have plenty of 
liquid pitch instead of lime and sand, they can have 
their walls built of burnt brick ; other regions or 
useful sites have their special advantages, so that 
with due preparation a wall can be built perfect for 
ever and unblemished. 



1. When the walls are set round the city, there 
follow the divisions of the sites '^ within the walls, 
and the layings out of the broad streets and 
the alleys with a view to aspect. These will be 
rightly laid out if the winds are carefully shut out 
from the allays. For if the winds are cold they are 
unpleasant; if hot, they infect; if moist, they are 
injurious. Wherefore this fault must be avoided 
and guarded against, lest there happen what in 
many cities is not infrequent. For example in the 
island of Lesbos, the town of Mytilene is mag- 
nificently and elegantly built, but not situated with 
prudence. For in this city when the South wind 



tate auster cum flat, homines aegrotant ; cum corus, 
tussiunt ; cum septentrio, restituuntur in salubri- 
tatem, sed in angiportis et plateis non possunt con- 

2 sistere propter vehementiam frigoris. Ventus autem 
est aeris fluens unda cum incerta niotus redundantia. 
Nascitur cum fervor offendit umorem et impetus 
factionis exprimit vim spiritus flatus. Id autem 
verum esse ex aeolis ^ aereis ^ licet aspicere et de 
latentibus caeli rationibus artificiosis rerum inven- 
tionibus divinitatis exprimere veritatem. Fiunt 
enim aeoli pilae ^ aereae cavae, — hae habent punctum 
angustissimum — quae aqua * infunduntur conlocan- 
turque ad ignem ; et antequam calescant, non habent 
ullum spiritum, simul autem ut fervere coeperint, 
efficiunt ad ignem vehementem ^ flatum. Ita scire 
et iudicare licet e parvo brevissimoque spectaculo de 
magnis et inmanibus caeli ventorumque naturae ra- 

3 tionibus. Exclusi fuerint ; non solum efficient corpori- 
bus valentibus locum salubrem, sed etiam si qui morbi 
ex aliis vitiis forte nascentur, qui in ceteris salubribus 
locis habent cui*ationes medicinae contrariae, in his 
propter exclusiones ventorum temperatura ^ expe- 
ditius curabuntur. Vitia autem sunt, quae diffi- 
culter curantur in regionibus, quae sunt supra scriptae, 
haec : gravitudo arteriace, tussis, pleuritis, pthisis, 
sanguinis eiectio et cetera, quae non detractionibus 
sed adiectionibus curantur. Haec ideo difficulter 
medicantur, primum quod ex frigoribus concipiuntur, 

1 aeolis H. ^ aeris H. ^ aeolipilae H. 

* quae aqua GS : quae qua H. ^ vehementum H. 

^ exclusiones v. temperatura Kr : temperatura (-am) ex- 
clusiones w. H. 

1 This experiment anticipated Watt and the kettle, but 
led to no practical consequences. The figure must have had 
a small opening at the top only. 


BOOK I. c. VI. 

blows men fall ill; when the North-west, they 
cough ; when the North, they are restored to health ; 
but they cannot stand in the alleys and streets 
because of the vehemence of the cold. 2. Now the 
wind is a wave of air flowing with uncertain currents 
of motion. It rises when heat strikes moisture and 
the onrush of the force presses out the power of the 
breath of the blast. That this is true we may see 
from Aeoluses of bronze,^ and by the craftsman's 
inventions of things which express the truth of the 
divinity, about the causes which lurk in the heavens. 
Now figures of Aeolus are made of hollow bronze, 
and they have a very narrow point. These are filled 
with water and placed on the fire ; before they 
begin to warm, they have no rush of air, but as soon 
as they begin to boil, they produce on the fire a 
vehement blast. Thus we may know and judge, 
from this small and very brief spectacle, about the 
great and immense causes of the nature of the sky 
and of the winds. 3. Suppose they are excluded. 
Not only will this render a place healthy for sound 
persons ; but also if any diseases shall happen to 
ai-ise from other infections, those who in other 
healthy places find cure from counteracting medicine, 
in these, on account of the moderate climate and by 
the exclusion of the winds, will be still more quickly 
cured. For the diseases which are cured Avith diffi- 
culty in the regions which are described above are 
these : cold in the windpipe, cough, pleurisy, phthisis, 
spitting of blood, and others which are cured by 
strengthening remedies rather than by purgings. 
These ailments are treated with difficulty, first 
because they are caught from chills, secondly because 



deinde quod deftitigatis morbo viribus eorum aer 
agitatus est, ventorum agitationibus extenuatur,^ 
unaque a vitiosis corporibus detrahit sucum et efficit 
ea exiliora. Contra vero lenis et crassus aer qui 
perflatus non habet neque crebras redundantias, 
propter inmotam stabilitatem adiciendo ad membra 
eorum alit eos et refieit, qui in his sunt inpliciti 

4 Nonnullis placuit esse ventos ^ quattuor : ab 
oriente aequinoctiali solanum, a meridie austrum, ab 
occidente aequinoctiali favonium, ab septentrional! 
septentrionem. Sed qui diligentius perquisierunt, 
tradiderunt eos esse octo, maxime quidem Andronicus 
Cyrrestes, qui etiam exemplum conlocavit Athenis 
turrem mai-moream octagonon et in singulis lateribus 
octagoni singulorum ventorum imagines excalptas ^ 
contra suos cuiusque flatus designavit, supraque eam 
turrim metam marmoream perfecit et insuper Tri- 
tonem aereum conlocavit dextra manu virgam porri- 
gentem, et ita est machinatus, uti vento circuma- 
geretur et semper contra flatum consisteret supraque 
imaginem flantis venti indicem virgam teneret. 

5 Itaque sunt conlocati inter solanum et austrum ab 
oriente hiberno eurus, inter austrum et favonium ab 
occidente hiberno africus, inter favonium et septen- 
trionem caurus, quem plures vocant eorum, inter 
septentrionem et solanum aquilo. Hoc modo videtur 
esse expressum, uti capiat numerus et nomina et 

1 extenuatur Joe : extenuabitur unaque H. 

^ ventus H. ^ exscaptas G, excalpas H. 

^ Usually called suhsolanus : saliibriores septerttrionahs 
qiiam suhsolani t'el misiri sunt. Cels. ii. 1. 

2 Caused storms in the Adriatic. Horace, Odes, III. iii.4-5. 

* Brought the spring. Horace, Odes, I. iv. 1. 

BOOK I. c. VI. 

Avhen the strength is worn out by disease the air is 
agitated ; it is thinned by the agitation of the winds ; 
at the same time it draws the sap from diseased 
persons and renders them thinner. On the other 
hand, a smooth and thick air which is free from the 
passage of draughts and does not move backwards 
and forwards, builds up their Hmbs by its steadiness, 
and so nourishes and refreshes those who are caught 
by these diseases. 

4. Some have held that there are four winds : the 
Solanus ^ from the equinoctial east, the Auster^ 
from the south, Favonius ^ from the equinoctial 
west, and Septentrio from the north. But those 
who have inquired niore diligently lay down that 
there are eight : especially indeed Andronicus of 
Cyrrha,* who also, for an example, built at Athens ^ 
an octagonal n:iarble to^\^er, and, on the several sides 
of the octagon, had representations of the winds 
carved opposite their several currents. And above 
that tower he caused to be made a marble upright, 
and above it he placed a bronze Triton holding a rod 
in his right hand. He so contrived that it was driven 
round by the wind, and always faced the current of 
air, and held the rod as indicator above the repre- 
sentation of the wind blowing. 5. Therefore there 
are placed between the Solanus and the Auster, the 
Eurus from the winter sunrising ; between the 
Auster and the Favonius, the Africus from the winter 
sunset ; between the Favonius and the Septentrio, 
the Caurus (which most people call Corns) ; between 
the Septentrio and the Solanus, the Aquilo. The 
diagram * seems to be so arranged as to receive the 

* A town in Syria. 

^ The Tower of the Winds : first century B.C. 

* See figure. 



partes, unde flatus certi ventorum spirent. Quod 
cum ita exploratum habeatur, ut inveniantur regiones 

6 et ortus eorum, sic erit ratiocinandum. Conlocetur 
adlibellam ^ marmoreum amusium ^ mediis moenibus, 
aut locus ita expoliatur ad regulam et libellam, ut 
amusium non desideretur, supraque eius loci centrum 
medium conlocetur aeneus ^ gnomon, indagator 
umbrae qui graece sciotheres dicitur. Huius ante- 
meridiana hora circiter hora quinta sumenda est 
extrema gnomonis ^ umbra et puncto signanda, 
deinde circino diducto ad punctum, quod est gnomonis 
umbrae longitudinis signum, ex eoque a centre cir- 
cumagenda linea rotundationis. Itemque observanda 
postmeridiana istius gnomonis crescens umbra, et 
cum tetigerit circinationis lineam et fecerit parem 
antemeridianae umbrae postmeridianam, signanda 

7 puncto. Ex his duobus signis circino decusatim 
describendum, et per decusationem et medium cen- 
trum linea perducenda ad extremum, ut habeatur 
meridiana et septentrionalis ^ regio. Turn postea 
sumenda est sexta decima pars circinationis lineae 
totius rotundationis, centrumque conlocandum in 
meridiana linea, qua ^ tangit circinationem, et sig- 
nandum dextra ac sinistra in circinatione et meridiana 
et septentrionali parte. Tunc ex signis his quattuor 
per centrum medium decusatim lineae ab extremis ad 
extremas circinationes perducendae. Ita austri et 
septentrionis habebitur octavae partis designatio. 

1 libellum H. ^ hamusium G. 

3 aeneos H. * gnomonis H. 

5 septentrionales //. * qua Phil : quae H. 

^ Invented by Anaximander. Dio, L. II. See Plate A. 
^ Carelessly expressed; Vitruvius means the chord of the 
arc which is ^^^jj of circumference. 


BOOK I. c. VI. 

names and the quarters whence the fixed currents of 
winds blow. Since these may be regarded as ascer- 
tained, we must calculate as follows to find the quar- 
ters and risings of the winds. 6. Let there be placed 
to a level a marble dial, somewhere in the middle of 
the city ; or let a space be so polished to rule and 
level that the marble dial is not wanted. Above 
the middle point of that place, let there be put a 
bronze indicator to track the shadow ^ (which in 
Greek is called sciotheres). Before midday, at about 
the fifth hour, the end of the shadow of the indicator 
is to be taken and marked with a point. Then a 
radius being taken from the indicator to the point 
which marks the length of the shadow, with that, 
from the indicator as centre, a circumference is to 
be drawn. After midday the growing shadow of the 
indicator, when it touches the line of the circle and 
marks a post-meridian shadow equal to the ante- 
meridian, is to be marked with a point. 7. From 
these two points, two intersecting circles are to be 
described. Through the intersection and the centre 
of the circle first descinbed, a line is to be carried 
through to the end so that the southern and northern 
quarters may be indicated. Next we take as radius 
the sixteenth part ^ of the circumference of the circle. 
From centres given by the meridian line at the two 
points where it touches the circle, and with that 
radius, points are to be marked right and left in the 
circle, both on the southern and on the northern 
part. Then from these four points, intersecting lines 
are to be drawn through the middle centre fi'om one 
side of the circumference to the other. Thus both 
for the south wind and for the north wind we shall 
have marked out the eighth part of the circumference. 



Reliquae partes dextra ac sinistra tres, aequales et 
tres his distribuendae sunt in tota rotundatione, ut 
aequales divisiones octo ventorum designatae sint in 
descriptione. Turn per angulos inter duas ventorum 
regiones et platearuni et angiportorum videntur de- 

8 beri ^ dirigi descriptiones. His enim rationibus et 
ea divisione exclusa erit ^ ex habitationibus et vicis 
ventorum vis molesta.^ Cum enim plateae contra 
dereotos ^ ventos ^ erunt conformatae, ex aperto caeli 
spatio impetus ae flatus frequens eonclusus in fauoi- 
bus angiportorum vehementioribus viribus pervaga- 
bitur. Quas ob res convertendae sunt ab regionibus 
ventorum dereetiones vieorum, uti advenientes ad 
angulos insularum frangantur repulsique dissipentur. 

9 Fortasse mirabuntur i qui multa ventorum nomina 
noverunt, quod a nobis expositi sunt tantum octo esse 
ventis. Si autem animadverterint orbis terrae cir- 
cuitionem per solis cursum et umbras gnomonis ^ 
aequinoctialis ex "^ inclinatione caeli ab Eratosthene 
Cyrenaeo rationibus mathematicis et geometricis 
methodis esse inventam ducentorum quinquaginta 
duum milium stadium, quae fiunt passus trecenties 
et deeies quinquies ^ centena milia, huius autem 
octava pars quam ventus tenere videtur, est triciens 
nongenta triginta septem milia et passus quingenti, 
non debebunt mirari, si in tam magno spatio -unus 
ventus vagando inclinationibus et recessionibus varie- 

10 tates mutatione flatus faciat. Itaque dextra et sinis- 

^ debere G. ^ excluserit H. 

' molesta vis G. 

* derectos H : minus rccte directos rec. 

^ ventus H. ° gnominis H. 

' ex Joe : et(&) H. 

* quinquies centena Kr : quinquaginta H. 


BOOK I. c. VI. 

The remaining parts in the whole round, three on the 
right and three on the left, are to be distributed 
equally, so that equal divisions of the eight winds 
are marked out in the figure. Then the angles 
between two quarters of the winds will determine 
the laying out both of the streets and of the alleys. 
8. For by these methods and this di vision, tx-oublesome 
winds will be excluded from the dwellings and the 
streets. For when the quarters of the city are 
planned to meet the winds full, the rush of air and 
the frequent breezes from the open space of the sky 
will move with mightier power, confined as they are 
in the jaws of the alleys. Wherefore the directions 
of the streets are to avoid the quarters of the winds, 
so that when the winds come up against the corners 
of the blocks of buildings they may be broken, 
driven back and dissipated. 

9. Perhaps those who know many names of the 
winds will wonder because only eight winds have 
been described by us to exist. But if they perceive 
that the circumference of the world, ascertained by 
the sun's course, and the equinoctial shadows of the 
gnomon and the inclinations of the sky, have been 
found by Eratosthenes ^ of Cyrene with mathe- 
matical calculations and geometric methods to be 
252,000 stades, which give 31,500,000 paces, while of 
this the eighth part which the wind seems to occupy 
is 3,937,500 paces, they ought not to wonder, if in 
so great a space one wind, as it moves with its 
inclinations and retreats, causes varieties through the 
change of its current. 10. Therefore on the right 

* His calculations are remarkably correct in view of his 
imperfect equipment. 



tra austrum leuconotus et altanus flare solet, africum 
libonotus et subvesperus, circa favonium argestes et 
certis temporibus etesiae, ad latera cauri circias ^ et 
corus, circa septentrionem thracias et gallicus, dextra 
ac sinistra aquilonem supernas et caeeias, circa 
solanum carbas et eerto tempore ornithiae, euri vero 
medias partes tenentis ^ in extremis euricircias et 
volturnus.^ Sunt autem et alia plura nomina flatus- 
que ventorum e locis aut fluminibus aut montium 

11 procellis tracta. Praeterea aurae niatutinae, qua ^ 
sol, cum emei^it de subterranea parte, versando 
pulsat aeris umorem et impetu scandendo prudens ^ 
exprimit aurarum antelucano spiritu flatus. Qui cum 
exorto sole permanserunt, euri venti tenent partes, 
et ea re, quod ex auris procreatur, ab Graecis euros 
videtur esse appellatus, crastinusque dies propter 
auras matutinas aurion fertur esse vocitatus. Sunt 
autem nonnulli qui negant Eratosthenem potuisse 
veram mensuram orbis terrae colligere. Quae sive 
est certa sive non vera, non potest nostra scriptura 
non veras habere terminationes regionuin, unde 

12 spiritus ventorum oriuntur. Ergo si ita est, tantum 
erit, uti non certam mensurae rationem sed aut 
maiores impetus aut minores habeant singuli venti. 

Quoniam haec a nobis sunt breviter exposita, ut 
faeilius intellegatur, visum est mihi in extremo volu- 
mine formas ^ sive uti Graeci schemata dicunt, duo 

^ circias H. * tenentis Joe : -tes H. 

* vulturnus G. * qua Bo : quas H. 

* prudens HG, procedens 8. 

* formas Phil : forma li. 

^ At Dougga in Tunis, adjoining the Capitol, is a dial of 
the winds more than 8 yards in diameter. Twelve winds are 
marked closely agreeing with Vitruvius. One of them is 
Euronqnilo; the same as Euraci/Jo, Acts xxvii. 14. 

BOOK I. c. VI. 

and left of Auster,^ Leueonotus and Altanus are wont 
to blow; of Africus, Libonotus and Subvesperus ; 
around Favonius, Argestes and at certain times the 
Etesian winds ^ ; at the sides of Caurus, Cireias and 
Corus ; about Septentrio, Thracias and Gallicus ; 
right and left of Aquilo, Supernas and Caecias ; 
around Solanus, Carbas and at a definite time 
Ornithiae ; on the distant parts, when Eurus holds 
the middle, Euricircias and Volturnus. There are 
also many other names and breezes of winds, drawTi 
from places, or rivers, or from mountain storms. 

11. Moreover thei'e are morning airs, when the sun, 
emerging from the subterranean part, tosses and 
beats the damp in the air, and rising with a rush 
looks forward and thrusts forth the breezes with the 
breath that comes before the light. And when these 
have remained after sunrise, they hold the region of 
the east wind. Because this is generated from 
aurae (breezes) it seems to be called euros by the 
Greeks, and because of morning breezes the morroV 
is said to have been called aurion. But there are 
some who deny that Eratosthenes could infer the 
true measure of the earth. Whether this is certain 
or not, our writing cannot fail to furnish true outlines 
of the regions whence arise the breezes of the ^vinds. 

12. Therefore if it is so, it will have this consequence, 
that the several winds will have, not a fixed and 
measured amount, but either greater or less impetus. 

Since these matters have been briefly set forth 
by us, in order that it may be more easily under- 
stood I have decided at the end of the book to furnish 
two plans, or as the Greeks say schemata : one ^ so 

2 Lucr. V. 742 : etesia flahra aquilonum. 

3 Plate A, fig. 1. 



explicare, unum ita deformatum, ut appareat, unde 
certi ventorum spiritus oriantur, alterum, quem- 
admodum ab impetu eoi'um aversis derectionibus 
vicorum et platearum evitentur nocentes flatus. Erit 
autem in exaequata planitie centrum, ubi est littera 
A, gnomonis autem antemeridiana umbra, ubi est b, 
et a centre, ubi est a, diducto cireino ad id signum 
umbrae, ubi est b, circumagatur linea rotundationis. 
Reposito autem gnomone ubi antea fuerat, expec- 
tanda est, dum decrescat faciatque iterum crescendo 
parem ^ antemeridianae umbrae postmeridianam 
tangatque lineam rotundationis, ubi erit littera c. 
Tunc a signo, ubi est b, et a signo, ubi est c, cireino 
decusatim describatur, ubi erit d ; deinde per decu- 
sationem et centrum, ubi est d, perducatur linea ad^ 
extremum, in qua linea erit ^ littera e et v. Haec linea 
erit index meridianae et septentrionalis * regionis. 
13 Tunc cireino totius rotundationis sumenda est pars xvi, 
circinique centrum ponendum est in meridiana linea, 
qua ^ tangit rotundationem, ubi est littera e, et sig- 
nandum dextra sinistra, ubi erunt litterae G h. Item 
in septentrionali parte centrum circini ponendum in 
rotundationis et septentrionali linea, ubi est littera f, 
et signandum dextra ac sinistra, ubi sunt litterae i 
et K, et ab G ad K et ab h ad i per centrum lineae 
perducendae. Ita quod ei'it spatium ab g ad h, erit 
spatium venti austri et partis meridianae : item quod 
erit spatium ab i ad k, erit septentrionis. Reliquae 
partes dextra tres ^ ac sinistra tres dividendae sunt 
aequaliter, quae sunt ad orientem, in quibus litterae 

^ parem G : partem H. ^ ad S : ab HG. 

^ erunt litterae ;S : erit littera HG. 

* septentrionales H. ^ qua Gal : quae H. 

* dextra tres ac sinistra tres H. 


BOOK I. c. VI. 

mapped out that it may appear whence the certain 
breezes of the winds arise ; the second,^ how by 
layings out of quarters and streets turned away 
from their violence, dangerous currents may be 
avoided. Now there shall be on a levelled surface 
a centre with the letter a ; the shadow before midday 
of the indicator, with b ; and from the centre marked 
A the compass is opened to the point of shadow 
marked b, and a circle is to be drawn. The indicator 
being replaced where it was before, we must wait 
until the shadow diminishes, and again by increasing 
makes the shadow after midday equal to that before 
midday and touches the circle at the letter c. Then 
from B and from c let the intersection d be described 
with the compasses ; then through the intersection 
D and the centre, let a line be carried through to the 
furthest limit, and on this line will be the index of 
the southern and northern regions. 13. Then the 
sixteenth part of the whole circle is to be taken with 
the compass, and the point of the compass is to be 
put on the meridian line 'where it touches the circum- 
ference at E, and a mark is to be made right and left 
at GH. Also in the northern part, the point of the 
compass is to be placed on the circuniference and the 
northern line where is the letter f, and a mark is to 
be made right and left at i and k. And from g and 
K and from h to i, lines are to be drawn through the 
centre. So the space from g to h will be the space 
of the Auster and of the southern region ; likewise 
the space from i to k will be of the Septentrio. The 
remaining parts, on the right three, and the left 
three, are to be divided equally ; those which are to 

^ Plate A, fig. 2. Vitruvius had probably experienced the 
Mistral at Marseilles. 

VOL. I. F 


L M, et ab occidente, in quibus sunt litterae N et o. 
Ab M ad o et ab L ad N perducendae sunt lineae decu- 
satim. Et ita erunt aequaliter ventorum octo spatia 
in circumitionem.i Quae cum ita descripta erunt, in 
singulis angulis octagoni, cum a meridie inoipieraus, 
inter eurum et austrum in angulo erit littera g, inter 
austrum et africum h, inter afrieum et favonium n, 
inter favonium et caurum o, inter caurum et septen- 
trionem k, inter septentrionem et aquilonem i, inter 
aquilonem et solanum l, inter solanum et eurum m. 
Ita his confectis inter angulos octagoni gnomon 
ponatur, et ita dirigantur angiportorum divisiones. 


Divisis angiportis et plateis constitutis arearum 
electio ad opportunitatem et usum communem civi- 
tatis est explicanda aedibus sacris, foro reliquisque 
locis communibus. Et si erunt moenia secundum 
mare, area ubi forum eonstituatur, eligenda proximo 
portum, sin autem mediterraneo, in oppido medio. 
Aedibus vero sacris, quorum deorum maxime in 
tutela civitas videtur esse, et lovi et lunoni et 
Minervae, in excelsissimo loco unde moenium maxi- 
ma pars conspiciatur, areae distribuantur. Mercurio 

1 circumitione G, -neni H. 

1 As at Halicarnassus. Book IT. viii. 11. 

2 As at Athens, Pompeii, Timgad and other Roman towns 
in North Africa. 

' There were three shrines side by side; Jupiter in the 
middle, Juno on his right, Minerva on his left. The Capitol 


BOOK I. c, vi.-c. VII. 

the east at l and m, and at the west at n and o. 
From M to o and frona l to n intersecting lines are to 
be drawn. And so there will be eight equal spaces 
of ^\'inds in the circumference. When these are so 
marked out, at the single angles of the octagon 
when we begin from the south, in the angle between 
Eurus and Auster there will be g, between Auster 
and Afrieus there will be h, between Africus and 
Favonius N, between Favonius and Caurus o, between 
Caurus and Septentrio k, between Septentrio and 
Aquilo I, between Aquilo and Solanus l, between 
Solanus and Eurus m. When these things are done, 
let the gnomon be set upon the angles of the octagon 
and let the division of the alleys be directed 



1. After apportioning the alleys and settling the 
main streets, the choice of sites for the convenience 
and common use of citizens has to be explained ; 
for sacred buildings, the forum, and the other public 
places. And if the rampai-ts are by the sea^ a site 
where the forum is to be put is to be chosen next the 
harbour ; but if inland,'^ in the middle of the town. 
But for sacred buildings of the gods under whose 
protection the city most seems to be, both for 
Jupiter and Juno and Minerva,^ the sites are to be 
distributed on the highest ground from which the 
most of the ramparts is to be seen. To Mercury, 

at Dougga in Tunis is said to follow the rules of Vitruvius, 
except that the order is Corinthian. 

F 2 


autem in foro, aut etiam ut Isidi et Serapi in empo- 
rio ; Apollini Patrique Libero secundum theatrum ; 
Herculi, in quibus civitatibus non sunt gymnasia 
neque amphitheatra, ad circum : Marti extra urbem 
sed ad campum ; itemque Veneri ad portum. 

Id autem etiam Etruseis haruspicibus disciplinarum 
scripturis ita est dedicatum, extra murum Veneris, 
Volcani, Martis fana ideo conlocari, uti non insu- 
eseat ^ in urbe adulescentibus, seu matribus famili- 
arum veneria libido, Voleanique vi ^ e moenibus re- 
ligionibus et sacrificiis evocata ab^ timore incendiorum 
aedifieia videantur liberari. Martis vero divinitas 
cum sit extra moenia dedieata, non erit inter cives 
armigera dissensio, sed ab hostibus ea defensa * a 
2 belli periculo conservabit. Item Cereri ^ extra 
urbem loco, quo nomine semper homines, nisi per 
sacrificium, necesse habeant adire ; cum religione, 
caste sanctisque moribus is locus debet tueri. Ceter- 
isque diis ad saerificiorum rationes aptae templis 
areae sunt distribuendae. 

De ipsis autem aedibus sacris faciundis et de 
arearum symmetriis in tertio et quarto volumine 
reddam rationes, quia in secundo visum est mihi 
primum de materiae copiis quae in aedificiis sunt 
parandae, quibus sint virtutibus et quem habeant 
usum, exponere, commensus aedificiorum et ordines 
et genera singula symmetriarum peragere et in 
singulis voluminibus explicare. 

1 insuescat S^ : -cant H. ^ vi Joe : vis H. 

^ a timore G. " defensa G^ : -si H. * cerei H. 

^ At Pompeii adjoins the theatre. 

2 Outside Porta Capena at Rome, Plainer, 327. 

3 The scribe of // adds : The first book ends. Thank the 
Lord: Amen. 



BOOK I. c. VII. 

however, in the forum, or also, as to Isis and Serapis,^ 
in the business quarter ; to Apollo and Father Bacchus 
against the theatre ; to Hercules, in cities which 
have no gymnasia nor amphitheatres, at the circus ; 
to Mai-s outside the walls but in the parade ground ; 
and also to Venus near the harbour. 

Now with Etruscan haruspices in the writings of 
their disciplines, the dedication is as follows : that the 
shrines of Venus, Volcanus, Mars are therefore to be 
situated outside the wall, so that venereal pleasure 
may not be customary to young men and matrons in 
the city, and, by summoning the poMer of ^^olcanus 
outside the ramparts with ritual and sacrifices, the 
buildings may seem to be freed from fear of fires. 
But since the divinity of Mars ^ is dedicated outside 
the ramparts, there will not be armed quarrels among 
citizens, yet he will keep the ramparts defended from 
the danger of war. 2. So also to Ceres in a place 
outside the city, under which name (i.e. Ceres extra 
urbem) men (unless by sacrifice) must always 
approach her ; since that place must be kept reli- 
giously, purely and with strict manners. And to the 
other gods sites fit for temples with a view to the 
methods of sacrifice are to be aiTanged. 

Now about building temples and about symme- 
trical arrangement of sites I will give an account in 
the third and fourth books, because in the second I 
purpose, first, with reference to the supplies of 
material which are to be prepared in buildings, to 
set forth of what virtues they are possessed, and Avhat 
uses they have ; subsequently to treat of the dimen- 
sions of buildings, the orders and the several kinds 
of symmetry and to explain them in the several 




DiNOCRATES architectus cogitationibus et sollertia 
fretus, cum Alexander rerum potiretur, profectus est 
e Macedonia ^ ad exercitum regiae cupidus com- 
mendationis. Is e patria a propinquis et amicis tulit 
ad primos ordines et purpuratos litteras, aditus 
haberet faciliores, ab eisque exceptus humane petit, 
uti quamprimum ad Alexandrum perduceretur. Cum 
poUiciti essent, tardiores fuerunt idoneum tempus 
expectantes. Itaque Dinocrates ab his se existimans ^ 
ludi ab se petit praesidium. Fuerat enim amplissima 
statura, facie grata, forma dignitateque summa. His 
igitur naturae muneribus eonfisus vestimenta posuit 
in hospitio et oleo corpus perunxit caputque coronavit 
populea fronde, laevum umerum pelle leonina texit, 
dextraque clavam tenens incessit contra tribunal 
regis ius dicentis. Novitas populum cum avertisset, 
conspexit eum Alexander. Admirans ei iussit^ 
locum dari, ut accederet, interrogavitque, quis esset. 
At ille : "Dinocrates," inquit, "architectus Macedo 
qui ad te cogitationes et formas adfero dignas tuae 
claritati. Namque Athon montem fornciavi in statuae 
virilis figuram, cuius manu laeva designavi civitatis 
amplissimae moenia, dextera * pateram, quae exci- 
peret omnium fluminum, quae sunt in eo monte, 

^ e (macedonia) H : a, m. G. ^ exestimans H. 

^ ei iussit H : iussit ei G. * dextra G. 

^ Dinocrates was also architect of the new temple of Diana 
(Artemis) at Ephesus to replace the one burnt down. 

2 He seems, by his club and lion's skin, to have personified 
Hercules (Herakles). 



1. When Alexander was master of the world, the 
architect Dinocrates,^ confident in his ideas and his 
skill, set out from Macedonia to the army, being 
desirous of the royal commendation. He brought 
from home to the officers and high officials, a letter 
from his relatives and friends that he might have more 
easy access ; and being courteously received by them, 
he asked to be introduced as soon as possible to 
Alexander. After promising this they were somewhat 
slow, waiting for a suitable occasion. Therefore 
Dinocrates, thinking he was mocked by them, sought 
a remedy from himself. Now he was of ample stature, 
pleasing countenance, and the highest grace and 
dignity. Trusting then in these gifts of nature, he 
left his clothes in the inn, and anointed himself with 
oil ; he WTeathed his head with poplar leaves, 
covered his left shoulder with a lion's skin, and 
holding a club in his right hand,^ he walked opposite 
the tribunal where the king was giving judgment. 
2. When this novel spectacle attracted the people, 
Alexander saw him. Wondering, he commanded 
room to be made for him to approach, and asked mIio 
he was. And he replied : " Dinocrates, a Macedonian 
architect, who brings you ideas and plans worthy of 
you, illustrious prince. For I have shaped Mount 
Athos into the figure of the statue of a man, in whose 
left hand I have shown the ramparts of a very exten- 
sive city ; in his right a bowl to receive the water of all 



3 aquam, ut inde in mare profunderetur." Delectatus 
Alexander natione ^ formae statim quaesiit, si essent 
agri circa, qui possint ^ frumentaria ratione earn 
eivitatem tueri. Cum invenisset non posse nisi 
Iransmarinis subvectionibus : " Dinoerates," inquit, 
" adtendo egregiam formae conpositionem et ea 
delector. Sed animadverto, si qui deduxerit^ eo 
loco coloniam, forte* ut iudicium eius vituperetur. Ut 
enim natus infans sine nutricis lacte non potest ali 
neque ad vitae crescentis gradus perduci, sic eivitas 
sine agris et eorum fructibus in moenibus affluentibus 
non potest crescere nee sine abundantia eibi fre- 
quentiam habere populumque sine copia tueri. 
Itaque quemadmodum formationem puto proban- 
dam, sic iudicio locum inprobandum ; teque volo esse 

4 mecum, quod tua opera sum usurus." Ex eo 
Dinoerates ab rege non discessit et in Aegyptum est 
eum persecutus. Ibi Alexander cuin animadvertisset 
portum naturaliter tutum, emporium egregium, 
campos circa totam Aegyptum frumentarios, inmanis 
fluminis Nili magnas utilitates, iussit eum suo nomine 
eivitatem Alexandriam constituere. Ita Dinoerates 
a facie dignitateque ^ corporis commendatus ad eam 
nobilitatem pervenit. Mihi autem, imperator, 
staturam non tribuit natura, faciem deformavit aetas, 
valetudo detraxit vires. Itaque quoniam ab his 
praesidiis sum desertus, per auxilia ^ scientiae 
scriptaque, ut spero, perveniam ad commendationem. 

^ ratione G : natione H, sc. genere, cf. Plin. N.H. 
^ possent G : possint H. 

* siquid eduxerit //. loci Phil : loco //. 

* fore G^ : forto H. ^ dignitatisque H. 

* auxilia // : auxilium G. 

1 Alexandria was laid out in streets at right angles to one 
another. There were two main streets, one the famous 


BOOK II. Preface 

the rivers which are in that mountain." 3. Alexander, 
deUghted with his kind of plan, at once inquired if 
there were fields about, which could furnish that city 
with a corn supply. When he found this could not be 
done, except by sea transport, he said: " I note, 
Dinocrates, the unusual formation of your plan, and 
am pleased with it, but I perceive that if anyone leads 
a colony to that place, his judgment will be blamed. 
For just as a child when born, if it lacks the nurse's 
milk cannot be fed, nor led up the staircase of growing 
life, so a city without cornfields and their produce 
abounding mthin its ramparts, cannot grow, nor 
become populous without abundance of food, nor 
maintain its people without a supply. Therefore, just 
as I think your planning worthy of approval, so, in my 
judgment, the site is worthy of disapproval ; yet I 
want you to be with me, because I intend to make use 
of your services." 4. After that, Dinocrates did not 
leave the king, and followed him into Egypt. There 
when Alexander had observed a port naturally pro- 
tected, an excellent market, cornfields all over 
Egypt, the great advantages of the huge Nile river, he 
ordered Dinocrates to lay out a city in his name, 
Alexandria. 1 Thus, Dinocrates, commended by his 
face and the dignity of his person, reached to this 
distinction. But nature has not given me stature, 
my countenance is uncomely with age, ill-health has 
taken away my strength. Therefore, although I 
am deserted by these defences, by the help of science 
and by my writings I shall, I hope, gain approval. 

Canopic Street running east and west. These were 46 feet 
wide, bordered with columns. The others mostly 23 feet. 
The chief temple — the Serapeum — corresponding to the 
Roman Capitol, was on rising ground. The splendid banqueting 
hall of Ptolemy Philadelphus is described in Athenaeus, p. 196. 



Cum autem primo volumine de officio archi- 
tecturae terminationibusque artis perscripsi, item de 
moenibus et intra moenia arearum divisionibus, in- 
sequatur ordo de aedibus sacris et publicis aedificiis 
itemque privatis, quibus proportionibiis et symmetriis 
debeant esse, uti explicentur, non putavi ante ponen- 
dumi, nisi prius de materiae copiis, e quibus conlatis 
aedifieia structuris et materiae rationibus perficiuntur, 
quas habeant in usu virtutes, exposuissem, quibusque 
rerum naturae principiis essent temperata, dixissem. 
Sed antequam naturales res incipiam explicare, de 
aedificiorum rationibus, unde initia ceperint ^ et uti 
ereverint eorum inventiones, ante ponam, et inse- 
quar ingressus antiquitatis rerum naturae et eorum qui 
initia humanitatis ^ et inventiones perquisitas 
scriptorum praeceptis dedicaverunt. Itaque quem- 
admodum ab his sum institutus, exponam. 

Homines vetere more ut ferae in silvis et speluneis 
et nemoribus nascebantur ciboque agresti vescendo 
vitam exigebant. Interea quondam in loco ab ^ 
tempestatibus et ventis densae crebritatibus arbores 
agitatae et inter se terentes ramos ignem excita- 
verunt, et eius* flamma vehementi perterriti, qui circa 

1 coeperint H. ^ Iiumanitates H. 

3 a temp. * eius Sch : eos H. 


BOOK II. c. I. 

5. Now since in the first book I have wi-itten on the 
services of architecture, and the definitions of the 
.craft, also about ramparts and the allotments of sites 
within the ramparts, there should follow the arranging 
of temples and public buildings and also private ones, 
in order to explain of whatproportions and symmetries 
they ought to be. Yet I thought I ought to put 
nothing before, until I had first considered the 
supplies of building material, from the assemblage of 
which buildings are completed in their structure and 
the appropriate treatment of the materials. After- 
wards I shall expound what virtues they have when 
employed, and I shall declare of what natural elements 
they are blended. But before I begin to explain 
natural objects, I will preface somewhat respecting 
the methods of building, whence they took their 
beginnings and how inventions grew ; and I will 
follow the approaches of antiquity to Nature herself, 
and in particular of those writers who have committed 
to their manuals the beginnings of the humanities, 
and the record of inventions. Therefore I will set 
forth the matter as I have been instructed by them. 



1. Men, in the old way, were born like animals in 
forests and caves and woods, and passed their life 
feeding on the food of the fields. Meanwhile, once 
upon a time, in a certain place, trees, thickly crowdedj 
tossed by storms and winds and rubbing their branches 
together, kindled a fire. Terrified by the raging 
flame, those who were about that place were put to 



eum locum fuerunt, sunt fugati. Postea re quieta ^ 
propius 2 accedentes cum animadvertissent com- 
moditatem esse magnam eorporibus ad ignis teporem, 
ligna adicientes et id conservantes alios adducebant 
et nutu monstrantes ostendebant, quas haberent ex 
eo utilitates. In eo hominum congressu cum pro- 
fundebantur aliter e spiritu voces, cotidiana con- 
suetudine vocabula, ut optigerant,^ constituerunt, 
deinde signifioando res saepius in usu ex eventu fari 
fortuito coeperunt et ita sermones inter se procrea- 

2 verunt. Ergo cum propter ignis inventionem conven- 
tus initio apud homines et concilium et convictus asset 

^natus, et in unum locum plures convenirent habentes 
ab natura praemium praeter reliqua animalia, ut non 
proni sed erecti ambularent mundique et asti'orum 
magnificentiam aspicerent, item manibus et articulis 
quam vellent rem faciliter tractarent, coeperunt in eo 
coetu alii de fronde facere tecta, alii speluncas fodere 
sub montibus, nonnulli hirundinum nidos et aedifica- 
tiones earimi imitantes de luto et virgulis facere loca 
quae subirent. Tunc observantes aliena tecta et 
adicientes suis cogitationibus res novas, efficiebant 

3 in dies meliora genera casarum. Cum essent autem 
homines imitabili docilique natura, cotidie inven- 
tionibus gloriantes alios alii ostendebant aedificiorum 
effectus, et ita exercentes ingenia eertationibus in 

^ re quieta S' : requieta H, requie data G. 
^ proprius H. 

proprius H. 

obtigerant S G" : optegerent H. 

^ The invention of language is dealt with by Lucr. V. 
1028 ; of fire, V. 1091. Cf. Darwin, Descent of Man, Part I. 

^ The importance of handiwork and craftsmanship is 
emphasised throughout this treatise and gives it a unique 


BOOK II. c. I. 

flight. Afterwards when the thing was quieted down, 
approaching nearer they perceived that the advantage 
was great for their bodies from the heat of the fire. 
They added fuel, and thus keeping it up, they brought 
others ; and pointing it out by signs they showed what 
advantages they had from it. In this concourse of 
mankind, when sounds were variously uttered by the 
breath, by daily custom they fixed words as they had 
chanced to come. Then, indicating things more 
frequently and by habit, they came by chance to 
speak according to the event, and so they generated 
conversation with one another. ^ 2. Therefore, be- 
cause of the discovery of fire, there arose at the begin- 
ning, concourse among men, deliberation and a life 
in common. Many came together into one place, 
having from nature this boon beyond other animals, 
that they should walk, not with head do\vn, but up- 
right, and should look upon the magnificence of the 
world and of the stars. They also easily handled 
with their hands ^ and fingers whatever they wished. 
Hence after thus meeting together, they began, 
some to make shelters of leaves, some to dig caves 
under the hills, some to make of mud ^ and wattles 
places for shelter, imitating the nests of swallows and 
their methods of building. Then observing the 
houses of others and adding to their ideas new things 
from day to day, they produced better kinds of huts. 
3. Since men were of an imitative and teachable 
nature, they boasted of their inventions as they daily 
showed their various achievements in building, and 
thus, exercising their talents in rivalry, were rendered 

^ Wattle-work was used by the Romans in England, follow- 
ing the British precedent. 



dies melioribus iudiciis efficiebantur. Primumque 
furcis erectis et virgulis interpositis luto parietes 
texerunt. Alii luteas glaebas arefaeientes struebant 
parietes, materia eos iugumentantes, vitandoque 
imbres et aestus tegebant harundinibus et fronde. 
Posteaquam per hibernas tempestates tecta non 
potiierunt imbi'es sustinere, fastigia faeientes, luto 
inducto proelinatis tectis, stillicidia deducebant. 

Haee autem ex is, quaesuprascripta sunt,originibus 
instituta esse possumus sic animadvertere, quod ad 
hunc diem nationibus exteris ex his rebus aedificia 
constituantur,! uti Gallia, Hispania,^ Lusitania, 
Aquitania scandalis^ robusteis aut stramentis. Apud 
nationem Colehorum in Ponto propter silvarum abun- 
dantiam arboribus perpetuis planis dextra ac sinistra 
in terra positis, spatio inter eas relicto quanto arborum 
longitudines patiuntur, conlocantur in extremis 
partibus earum supra alterae transversae, quae cir- 
cumcludunt medium spatium habitationis. Turn ^ 
insuper alternis trabibus ex quattuor partibus angulos 
iugumentantes et ita parietes arboribus statuentes ad 
perpendiculum imarum educunt ad altitudinem turres, 
intervallaque, quae relinquuntur propter crassitu- 
dinem materiae,schidiiset lutoobstruunt. Item tecta, 
recidentes ad extremes transtra, traiciunt gradatim 
contrahentes,etitaex quattuor partibus ad altitudinem 
educunt medio metas, quas fronde et luto tegentes 

1 constituiintur G : antur H. " spania HO. 
^ scandulis : scandalis H. * tunc G. 

^ The name of the neighbouring Mnssynoikoi means 
" dwellers in towers " from mos'tyn, a tower. Xenophon, 
Anabasis, V. 4; Ap. Rh. II. 1019. 

^ The beams run alternately from front to back, and from 


BOOK II. c. I. 

of better judgment daily. And first, with upright 
forked props and twigs put between, they wove their 
walls. Others made walls, drying moistened clods 
which they bound with wood, and covered with reeds 
and leafage, so as to escape the rain and heat. When 
in winter-time the roofs could not withstand the rains, 
they made ridges, and smearing clay down the 
sloping roofs, they drew off the rain-water. 

4. That these things were so practised from the 
beginnings above described we can observe, seeing 
that to this day buildings are constructed for 
foreign nations of these materials, as in Gaul, 
Spain, Portugal, Aquitaine, with oak shingles or 
thatch. In Pontus among the nation of the Colchi,^ 
because of their rich forests, two whole trees are laid 
flat, right and left, on the ground, a space being left 
between them as wide as the lengths of the trees 
allow. On the furthest parts of them, two others are 
placed transversely, and these four trees enclose in 
the middle the space for the dwelling. Then, laying 
upon them alternate beams from the four sides, they 
join up the angles.^ And so constructing the walls 
with trees, they raise up towers ^ rising perpendicular 
from the lowest parts. The gaps which are left by the 
thickness of the timber they block up with splinters 
and clay. Further, they raise the roofs by cutting 
off the cross-beams at the end and gradually narrowing 
them. And so, from the four sides they raise over the 
middle a pyramid on high. This they cover with 
leafage and clay, and, barbarian fashion, construct 

side to side, meeting at the corners. Thus a space is left 
between each beam and the beam above it. 

^ The farmhouses of the East were often in the form of 
towers for security's sake. " A man . . . built a tower and 
let it out to husbandmen." Mark xii. 1. 


efficiunt barbarico more testudinata turrium tecta. 

5 Phryges vero, qui campestribus locis sunt habitantes, 
propter inopiam silvaruni egentes materiae ^ eligunt 
tuniulos naturales eosque medios fossura ^ detinentes^ 
et itinera perfodientes dilatantspatia, quantum natura 
loci patitur. Insuper autem stipitis inter se religantes 
metas efficiunt, quas harundinibus et sarmentis 
tegentes exaggerabant supra habitationis * e terra 
maximos grumos.^ Ita hiemes calidissimas, aestatis 
frigidissimas efficiunt ^ tectorum rationes. Nonnulli 
ex ulva palustri componunt tiguria tecta. Apud 
ceteras quoque gentes et nonnulla loca pari similique 
ratione casarum perficiuntur constitutiones. Non 
minus etiam Massiliae animadvertere possumus sine 
tegulis subacta cum paleis terra tecta. Athenis 
Areopagi antiquitatis exemplar ad hoc tempus luto 
tectum. Item in Capitolio commonefacere potest et 
significare mores vetustatis ' Romuli casa et in arce 

5 sacrorum stramentis tecta. Ita his signis de antiquis 
inventionibus aedificiorum, sic ea fuisse ratioeinantes, 
possumus iudicare. 

Cum autem cotidie faciendo tritiores ^ manus ad 
aedificandum perfecissent et sollertia ingenia exer- 
oendo per consuetudinem ad artes pervenissent, tum 
etiam industria in animis eorum adiecta perfecit, ut, 

^ materia G. 

^ fossura G' : forsura G, fossurae H. 

^ detegentes Sch : detinentes H. 

* habitationis //. 

^ crumos H. * efficit H. 

' vetustates H. ^ tritores B. 

1 The primitive character of their civilisation was proverbial. 
- Marseilles was besieged by Caesar's troops 49 b.c. Vitruvius 
speaks as an observer. 


BOOK II. c. I. 

the coved roofs of their towers. 5. But the 
Phrygians,^ who are dwellers in the plains, o^ving to 
the absence of foi'ests, lack timber. Hence they 
choose natural mounds, and dividing them in the 
middle by a trench and digging tracks through, open 
out spaces as far as the nature of the place allows. 
They fasten logs together at the upper end, and so 
make pyramids. These they cover with reeds and 
brushwood and pile up very large hillocks from the 
ground above their dwellings. This arrangement of 
their dwellings makes the -winter quite warm, and the 
summer cool. Some construct covered huts from the 
sedge of the marshes. Among other nations, also, 
in many places, the erection of huts is carried out in 
a parallel and similar manner. Not less also at 
Marseilles - we can observe roofs ^\'ithout tiles, made 
of earth and kneaded with straw. At Athens there is 
an ancient type of building, on the Areopagus, to this 
day ^ covered with mud. Also in the Capitolium the 
Hut of Romulus,^ and in the Citadel, shrines covered 
with straw, can remind us, and signify the customs 
and the antiquities of Rome. 6. Thus by these 
examples we can infer concerning the ancient inven- 
tion of buildings, reasoning that they were similar. 

When, however, by daily work men had rendered 
their hands more hardened for building, and by 
practising their clever talents they had by habit 
acquired craftsmanship, then also the industry, which 
rooted itself in their minds, caused those who were 

^ Vitruvius frequently makes use of contemporary in- 
formation which may be relied upon. He correctly describes 
the great temple of Jupiter (Zeus) as octastyle, Book III. ii. 8. 

* Virg. Aen. VIII. 654. There were two, Lanciani, B.E. 

G 2 


qui fuerunt in his studiosiores, fabros esse se pro- 
fiterentur. Cum ergo haee ita fuerint primo con- 
stituta et natura non solum ^ sensibus ornavisset 
gentes quemadmodum reliqua animalia, sed etiam 
cogitationibus et consiliis armavisset mentes et 
subiecisset cetera animalia sub potestate, tunc vero 
et fabricationibus aedificiorum gradatim progressi 
ad ceteras artes et disciplinas, e fera agrestique vita 

7 ad mansuetam perduxerunt humanitatem. Tum 
autem instruentes animo se eprospicientes ^ maiori- 
bus cogitationibus ex varietate artium natis, non casas 
sed etiam domes fundatas et latericiis parietibus aut 
e lapide structas materiaque et tegula tecta perficere 
coeperunt, deinde observationibus studiorum e 
vagantibus iudieiis et incertis ad certas symmetriarum 
perduxerunt rationes. Posteaquam animadverter- 
unt profusos esse partus ab natura et materiam abun- 
dantem copiarum ^ ad aedificationes ab ea eompara- 
tam, tractando nutrierunt et auctam per artes 
ornaverunt voluptatibus elegantiam vitae. Igitur de 
his rebus, quae sunt in aedificiis ad usum idoneae, 
quibusque sunt qualitatibus et quas habeant virtutes, 
ut potuero, dicam. 

8 Sed si qui de ordine huius libri disputare voluerit, 
quod putaverit euni pi-imum institui oportuisse, ne 
putet me erravisse, si credam rationem. Cum corpus 
architecturae scriberem, primo volumine puta\i, 
quibus eruditionibus et disciplinis esset ornata, ex- 

^ solum H . plus G. 
* ae prosp. ante ras. H, eprosp. 0. 

^ ab naturae materia & abundante copiarum H, natur^ ad 
materiam et abundantem copiam G. 

1 Vitruvius seems to have circulated copies of his first 
book separately. 

BOOK II. c. I. 

more eager herein to profess themselves craftsmen. 
When, thei'efore, these matters were so first ordained 
and Nature had not only equipped the human races 
with perceptions like other animals, but also had armed 
their minds with ideas and purposes, and had put 
the other animals under their poAver, then from the 
construction of buildings they progressed by degrees 
to other crafts and disciplines, and they led the way 
from a savage and rustic life to a peaceful civilisation. 
7. Then, however, building up themselves in spirit, and 
looking out and forward with larger ideas born from 
the variety of their crafts, they began to build, not 
huts, but houses, on foundations, and with brick walls, 
or built of stone ; and with roofs of wood and tiles. 
Then by the observations made in their studies they 
were led on from wandering and uncertain judgments 
to the assured method of symmetry. When they 
observed that Nature brought forth profusely, and 
provided materials abounding in usefulness for build- 
ing, they handled them with fostering care, and 
equipped with delights the refinement of life, 
increased as it was by their several crafts. Therefore, 
concerning the things which are fit for use in buildings, 
of what qualities they are and what virtues they 
possess, I will speak as I am able. 

8. But if anybody raises objections about the 
arrangement of the whole work, because he thinks 
that this book should have come first,^ let him not 
think I have erred, if I believe in Reason.^ When I 
wrote this comprehensive treatise on architecture, I 
thought in the first book to set forth with what 
trainings and disciplines architecture was equipped, 

^ H. retains his creed : credo rationem ; credo with the ace. 
is found in some early creeds. 



ponere finireque terminationibus eius species et, e 
quibus rebus asset nata, dieere. Itaque quid opor- 
teat esse in arehitecto, ibi pronuntiavi. Ergo in primo 
de artis officio, in hoc de naturalibus materiae rebus, 
quem habeant usum, disputabo. Namque hie hber 
non profitetur, unde architectura nascatur, sed unde 
engines aedificiorum sunt institutae et quibus 
rationibus enutritae et progressae sint gradatim ad 
9 hanc finitionem. Ergo ita suo ordine et loco huius 
erit vohmiinis constitutio. 

Nunc revertar ad propositum et de copiis, quae 
aptae sunt aedificiorum perfectionibus, quemad- 
modum videantur esse ab natura rerum procreatae 
quibusque mixtionibus principiorum congressus 
temperentur, nee obscura sed perspicua legentibus 
sint, ratiocinabor. Namque nulla materiarum genera 
neque corpora neque res sine principiorum coetu 
nasci neque subici intellectui possunt, neque aliter 
natura rerum praeceptis physicorum veras patitur 
habere explicationes, nisi causae, quae insunt in his 
rebus quemadmodum et quid ita sint, subtilibus 
rationibus habeant demonstrationes. 


1 Thales^ primum aquam putavit omnium rerum 
esse principium ; Heraclitus Ephesius, qui propter 
obscuritatem scriptorvun a Graecis scoteinos ^ est 
appellatus, ignem ; Democritus quique est eum 

^ Tales H. * scotinos H. 


BOOK II. c. i.-c, n. 

and to determine by definitions its species and to say 
from what things it sprang. And so I there pro- 
nounced what there ought to be in an architect. 
Therefore in the first book I discussed the office of the 
architect. In this book I will treat of the material 
things of nature, and what uses they have. For this 
book does not declare whence architecture arises, but 
whence the kinds of building have originated, and by 
what ways they have been fostered and, by degrees, 
advanced to their present finish. 9. So therefore the 
arrangement of this book is in its order and place. 

Now I will return to my undertaking and will 
deal with the materials which are adapted to the 
execution of buildings ; how they seem to be generated 
by Nature, and in what mixtures the assemblages of 
elements are blended. These, indeed, are not 
obscure but obvious to my readers. For no kinds of 
materials, nor bodies, nor things can arise or be subject 
to the intelligence without the coming together of 
elements, nor does Nature allow them to have true 
explanations in the precepts of physicists, unless the 
causes which are present in these things find proofs, 
how and why they are so, by accurate demonstrations. 



1. First, Thales ^ thought that water was the 
principle of all things. Heraclitus of Ephesus (who 
because of the obscurity of his writings was called 
Dark by the Greeks), ^re ; Democritus, and Epicurus 

^ Vitruvius' list of philosophers was probably taken from 
Varro, who in turn drew upon a late Greek compilation of the 
opinions of philosophers, Diels, Doxographi Graeci, 94, 200. 



secutus Epicurus atomos, quas ^ nostri insecabilia cor- 
pora, nonnulli individua vocitaverunt ; Pythagoreo- 
runi vero disciplina adiecit ad aquam et ignem aera ^ 
et teiTenum. Ergo Democritus, etsi non proprie res 
nominavit sed tantum individua corpora proposuit, 
ideo ea ipsa dixisse videtur, quod ea, cum sint dis- 
iuncta, nee laeduntur^ nee interitionem reeipiunt nee 
sectionibus dividuntur, sed sempiterno aevo perpetuo 
infinitam retinent in se soliditatem. Ex his ergo 
congruentibus cum res omnes coire nascique videantur 
et hae in infinitis generibus rerum natura essent dis- 
paratae, putavi oportere de varietatibus et discrimini- 
bus usus earum quasque haberent in aedificiis 
qualitates exponere, uti, cum fuerint notae, non 
habeant qui aedificare cogitant errorem, sed aptas ad 
usum copias aedificiis conparent. 


Itaque prinium de lateribus, qua de terra duci eos 
oporteat, dicam. Non enim de harenoso neque 
calculoso luto neque sabulonoso luto sunt duoendi, 
quod, ex his generibus cum sint ducti, primum fiunt 
graves, deinde, cum ab inbribus ^ in parietibus 
sparguntur, dilabuntur et dissolvuntur paleaeque in 

' quas Bo : quos H. ^ aera G : aerea H. 

* nee laeduntur rec : nee leguntur H G. 

* intribus //. 

1 insecabilia : found in Seneca and Quintilian. 
* individua : Cicero. 

^ " Things " were uncertain in Democritus' system. Book 
VII. pref. 11. 


BOOK II. c. ii.-c. III. 

who followed him, atoms, which our writers have called 
unbreakables,^ some indivisibles.'^ But the school 
of the Pythagoreans added air and the earthy to water 
and fire. Therefore Democritus, although he did not 
name " things " ^ as such, but supposed " atoms " 
only, seems to have spoken of them as such because 
although they may be separated out, they are not 
damaged nor destroyed, nor cut up into parts, but 
retain in themselves for ever a perfect solidity. 2. 
Since therefore from these, being in correspondence, 
all things seem to come together and be born, 
and since by Nature they have been divided into 
infinite kinds, I thought I ought first to deal with the 
varieties and differences of the use of them, and 
what qualities they show in buildings ; so that when 
they are familiar, those who think of building may not 
make mistakes but get supplies fit for use. 



1. Therefore, first I will speak about bricks, and 
from what kind of clay they ought to be brought. 
For they ought not to be made fi'om sandy nor 
chalky soil nor gravelly soil : because when thej 
are got from these formations, first they become 
heavy, then, when they are moistened by rain 
showers in the walls, they come apart and are dis- 
solved. And the straw does not stick in them * 

* The addition of straw to bricks increased their breaking 
strength by 244 per cent. Straw was used along with leaves 
of plants and parts of grasses in Egypt. Neuburger, tr. 137. 



his non cohaerescunt propter asperitatem. Faciendi 
auteni sunt ex terra albida cretosa sive de rubrica 
aut etiam masculo sabulone ; haec enim genera 
propter levitateni habent firmitatem et non sunt in 

2 opere ponderosa et faciliter aggerantur. Ducendi 
autem sunt per vernum temp us et autumnale, ut 
uno tempore ^ siccescant. Qui enim per solstitium 
parantur, ideo vitiosi fiunt, quod, summum corium ^ 
sol acriter cum praecoquit, efficit ut videatur aridum, 
interior autem sit non siccus ; et cum postea sicces- 
cendo se contrahit, perrumpit ea quae erant arida. 
Ita rimosi facti efficiuntur imbecilli. Maxime autem 
utiliores erunt, si ante biennium fuerint ducti ; 
namque non ante possunt penitus siccescere. Itaque 
cum recentes et non aridi sunt structi, tectorio 
inducto rigidoque obsolidati permanent ; ipsi sidentes ^ 
non possunt eandem altitudinem qua est tectorium, 
tenere, contractioneque moti non haerent cum eo, 
sed ab coniunctione eius disparantur ; igitur tectoria 
ab structura seiuncta propter tenuitatem per se stare 
non possunt, sed franguntur, ipsique parietes fortuito 
sidentes vitiantur. Ideo etiam Uticenses laterem, 
si sit aridus et ante quinquennium ductus, cum 
arbitrio magistratus fuerit ita probatus, tunc utuntur 

3 in parietum structuris. Fiunt autem laterum genera 
tria : unum, quod graece Lydium appellatur, id est 

^ tenore Joe : tempore H. ^ chorium //. 

3 sidentes S^ : sedentes H. 

^ Sun-dried bricks, laieres, used under the republic ; kiln- 
baked bricks under Early Empire, testae. Stuart Jones, 
Companion to Roman History, 56. 

2 In Tunis, about 25 miles from Carthage. Vitruvius 
probably speaks from direct knowledge. He was a friend 



because of their roughness. But bricks are to be 
made of white clayey earth or of red earth, or even 
of rough gravel. For these kinds, because of their 
smoothness, are durable. They are not heavy in 
working, and are easily built up together. 2. Now 
bricks are to be made either in the spring or autumn, 
that they may dry at one and the same time. For 
those which are prepared at the summer solstice 
become faulty for this reason : when the sun ^ is 
keen and overbakes the top skin, it makes it seem 
dry, while the interior of the brick is not dried. And 
when afterwards it is contracted by drying, it breaks 
up what was previously dried. Thus bricks crack and 
are rendered weak. But, most especially, they will 
be more fit for use if they are made two years before. 
For they cannot dry throughout before. Therefore 
when they are built in fresh and not dry, and the 
plaster is put on and becomes rigid, they remain solid 
only on the surface. Hence they settle and cannot keep 
the same height as the plaster. For by contraction 
and the consequent movement they cease to stick to 
the plaster, and are separated from their union with 
it. Therefore the wall-surfaces are separated from 
the wall itself, and because of their thinness cannot 
stand of themselves and are broken, and the Avails 
settling haphazard, become faulty. That is why the 
citizens of Utica ^ use no bricks for building walls, 
unless the magistrate has approved them as being 
dry and made five years before. 3. Now there are 
three kinds of bricks : one which in Greek is called 

of a neighbouring landowner, Book VIII. iv. 25. In Roman 
towns, building operations were controlled by the aediles. 
Even villages had their aedile. Arnold, Eoman Provincial 
Administration, 217. 



quo nostri utuntur, longum sesquipede, latum pede. 
Ceteris duobus Graecorum aedificia struuntur ; 
ex his unum pentadoron, alterum tetradoron dicitur. 
Doron autem Gracei appellant palmum, quod 
munerum datio graeee down appellatur, id autem 
semper geritur per manus palmum. Ita quod est 
quoquoversus quinque ^ palmorum, pentadoron, quod 
quattuor, tetradoron dicitur, et quae sunt publica 
opera, pentadoros, quae privata, tetradoros struuntur. 
4. Fiunt autem cum his lateribus semilateria. Quae 
cum struuntur, una parte lateribus ordines, altera 
semilateresponuntur. Ergo ex utraque parte ad lineam 
cum struuntur,^ alternis coriis parietes alligantur et 
medii lateres supra coagmentaeonlocati et firmitatem 
et speciem faciunt utraque parte non invenustam. 

Est autem in Hispania ulteriore civitas Maxilua^ et 
Callet* et in Asia Pitane,^ubi lateres cum sunt ducti et 
arefacti, proiecti natant in aqua. Natare autem eos 
posse ideo videtur, quod terra est, de qua ducuntur, 
pumicosa. Ita cum est levis, aere solidata non 
recipit in se nee combibit liquorem. Igitur levi 
raraque cum sit proprietate, nee patiantur penetrare 
in corpus umidam potestatem, quocumque pondere 
fuerit, cogitur ab rerum natura, quemadmodum 
pumex, uti ab aqua sustineatur, sic autem magnas 

^ quinque G : equinque H. 

2 cum str. H : construuntur G. 

' Maxilua Voss : maxima H. 

* Callet Plin. 35, 171 : in galliis H. 

^ Pitane Joe : ita ne H. 



BOOK 11. c. III. 

Lydion, that is the one which we use, a foot and a half 
long, a foot wide. Greek buildings are constructed 
with the other two. Of these, one is caXiedpentadoron, 
the other tetradoron. Now the Greeks call the palm 
doron, because the giving of gifts is called doron, and 
this is always done by means of the palm of the hand. 
Thus the brick that is of five palms every way is called 
pentadoron ; of four palms, tetradoron. Public 
buildings are erected with the former ; private build- 
ings with the latter. 4. Along with these bricks, 
half-bricks also are made. When these are built to the 
line of the face, on one side courses ^ are laid with 
bricks, on the other side half-bricks are laid. The 
walls are bound together by the alternate facings ^ ; 
and the middle of the bricks, being placed above the 
joints, produces firmness, and a not unpleasing appear- 
ance on either side. 

Now in Further Spain there is a town Maxilua, and 
also Callet, in Asia there is Pitane,^ where bricks, 
when they have been made and dried, swim in water 
if they are thi*own in. Now it seems that they are 
able to swim because the soil from which they are 
drawn is like pumice. Thus, since it is light, when 
made solid by the air it does not admit nor drink up 
moisture into itself. Therefore since these bricks 
are of a light and open property, and do not allow the 
humid potency to penetrate into the body, of what- 
ever weight the body shall be, it is compelled by 
Nature to be upheld by water like pumice-stone. 

^ ordo = course. Vulg. III. Beg. vi. 36 : Tres ordines lapidum. 

^ Corium, like skin or leather; then it comes to mean 
facing. The wall is 1;^ bricks thick. The whole bricks over- 
lap half in the middle of the wall. 

^ In Mysia. 



habent utilitates, quod neque in aedificationibus sunt 
onerosi et cum ducuntur a tempestatibus non 


1 In caementiciis autem structuris primum est de 
harena quaerendum, ut ea sit idonea ad materiem 
miscendam neque habeat terram commixtam. 
Genera autem harenae fossiciae sunt haec : nigra, 
cana, rvibra, carbunculum. Ex his, quae in manu 
confricata, vel icta fecerit stridorem, erit optima ; 
quae autem terrosa fuerit, non habebit asperitatem. 
Item si in vestimentum candidum ea eontecta fuerit, 
postea excussa aut icta id non inquinarit neque ibi 

2 terra subsiderit, erit idonea. Sin autem non erunt 
harenaria, unde fodiatur, tum de fluminibus aut e 
glarea erit excernenda, non minus etiam de litore 
marino. Sed ea in structuris haec habet vitia : 
difficulter siccescit,'^ neque onerari se continenter 
recipit ; paries patitur,nisi intermissionibus requiescat, 
neque concamerationes recipit. Marina autem hoc 
amphus, quod etiam parietes, cum in is tectoria facta 
fuerint, remittentes salsuginem eorum dissolvuntur. 

3 Fossiciae vero celeriter in structuris siecescunt, et 
tectoria permanent, et concamerationes patiuntur, 
sed hae, quae sunt de harenariis recentes. Si enim 
exemptae diutius iacent, ab sole et luna et pruina 

^ siccescit S : siccessit //. 

1 Caementum = concrete according to Stuart Jones, op. cit. 

2 As in arched ceilings of concrete. 


BOOK II. c. iii.-c. IV. 

So indeed they have great advantages because they 
are not heavy in buildings, and when they are being 
made, they are not dissolved by storms. 


1. Now in rubble ^ structures we must first inquire 
about the sand, that it be suitable for mixing material 
into mortar, and without the admixture of earth. 
Now the kinds of quarried sand are these : black, 
white, red, and from lignite. Of these, that which 
makes a noise when rubbed in the hand will be best ; 
but that which is earthy will not have a like rough- 
ness. Also, if it is covered up in a white cloth, and 
afterwards shaken up or beaten, and does not foul it, 
and the earth does not settle therein, it will be 
suitable. 2. But if there are no sand-pits whence it 
may be dug, then it must be sifted out from the river 
bed or from gravel, not less also from the sea-shore. 
But such sand has these faults in buildings : it dries 
with difficulty, nor does the wall allow itself to be 
loaded continuously M'ithout interruptions for rest, 
nor does it allow of vaulting.^ But in the case of sea 
sand, when plastered surfaces ^ are laid upon walls, 
the walls discharge the salt of the sands and are 
broken up. 3. But quarry sand quickly dries in 
buildings, and the surface lasts ; and it admits of 
vaulting, but only that which is fresh from the pit. 
For if after being taken out it lies too long, it is 
weathered by the sun and the moon and the hoar 

^ Opus tedoriam = stucco. 



eoncoctae resolvuntur et fiunt terrosae. Ita cum in 
structuram coiciuntur, non possunt continere cae- 
menta, sed ea ^ ruunt et labuntur oneraque parietes 
non possunt sustinei'e. Recentes autem fossiciae 
cum in structuris tantas habeant virtutes, eae in 
tectoriis ideo non sunt utiles, quod pinguitudini 
eius calx palea commixta, propter vehementiam non 
potest sine rimis inarescere. Fluviatica vero propter 
macritatem uti signinum liaculorum subactionibus 
in tectorio recipit soliditatem. 

De harenae copiis cum habeatur explicatum, tum 
etiamdecalcediligentia est adhibenda,uti de albosaxo 
aut silice coquatur^ ; et quae erit ex spisso et duriore, 
erit utilis in structura, quae autem ex fistuloso, in 
tectoriis. Cum ea erit extincta, tunc materia ita 
misceatur, ut, si erit fossicia, tres harenae et una 
calcis infundatur ; si autem fluviatica aut marina, 
duo harenae una caleis coiciatur. Ita enim erit iusta 
ratio mixtionis temperaturae. Etiam in fluviatica 
aut marina si qui testam tunsam et succretam ex 

1 ea ruunt : earunt H. ^ quoquatur H. 

1 Cow-dung is used to-day in pargetting chimneys, probably 
because of the vegetable matter contained in it. 

2 A town of Latium. 


BOOK II. c. iv.-c. V. 

frost, and is dissolved and becomes earthy. Thus 
when it is thrown into the rubble, it cannot bind 
together the rough stones, but these collapse and the 
loads give way which the walls cannot maintain. But 
while fresh pit sand has such virtues in buildings, 
it is not useful in plaster work ; because owing to its 
richness, the lime when mingled with straw ^ cannot, 
because of its strength, dry without cracks. But 
river sand because of its fineness (like that from 
Signia '^), when it is worked over with polishing 
tools ,^ acquires solidity in the plaster. 



1. After furnishing an account of the supply of 
sand, we must next be careful about lime, to burn it 
out of white stone or lava ^ ; the lime which shall be 
out of thick and harder stone will be useful in the 
main structure ; that which shall be of porous material, 
in plaster work. When it is slaked, then let it be 
mingled with the sand in such a way that if it is pit 
sand, three of sand and one of lime is poured in ; 
but if the sand is from the river or sea, two of sand and 
one of lime is thrown together. For in this way there 
will be the right proportion of the mixture and blend- 
ing. Also in the case of river or sea sand, if anyone 
adds crushed and sifted potsherds in the proportion 

^ Tertullian describes plasterer's work : scit albarius 
tedor et fecta sarcire et tectoria inducere et cisternam Hare et 
cymatia distendere. Idol. 8. 

* Silex, quarried from four lava streams, under the charge 
of the Procurator ad silices. Lanciani, R.E, 37. 

VOL. I. H 


tertia parte adieoerit, efficiet materiae temperatiiram 

2 ad usum meliorem. Quare autem cum recipit aquam 
et harenam calx, tune confirmat structuram, haee esse 
causa videtur, quod e principiis, uti cetera corpora, 
ita et saxa sunt temperata. Et quae plus habent 
aeris, sunt tenera ; quae aquae, lenta sunt ab umore ; 
quae terrae, dura ^ ; quae ignis, fragiliora. Itaque ex 
his saxa si, antequam coquantur, eontusa minute 
mixta harenae in instructuram coiciantur, non solide- 
scunt nee earn poterunt continere. Cum vero conieeta 
in fornacem ignis vehementi fervore correpla amiserint 
pristinae soliditatis virtutem, tunc exustis atque ex- 
haustis eorum viribus relinquuntur patentibus forami- 

3 nibus et inanibus. Ergo liquor, qui est in eius lapidis 
corpore, et aer cum exustus et ereptus fuerit, habue- 
ritque in se residuum calorem latentem, intinetus 
in aqua, prius quam ex igni vim recepit umore pene- 
trante in foraminum raritates, confervescit et ita 
refrigeratus reicit ex calcis corpore fervorem. (Ideo 
autem, quo pondere saxa coiciuntur in fornacem, 
cum eximuntur, non possunt ad id respondere, sed 
cum expenduntur, permanente ea magnitudine, 
excocto liquore circiter tertia parte ponderis inminuta 
esse inveniuntur.) Igitur cum patent foramina 
eorum et raritates, harenae mixtionem in se corripiunt 
et ita cohaerescunt siccescendoque cum caementis 
coeunt et efficiunt structurarum soliditatem. 

^ durae //. 

1 Csito, Agri. cult. XXXVIll. I. Still in use. Neuburgcr,407. 

BOOK II. c. V. 

of one to three, he will produce a blending of material 
which is better for use. 2. And so when lime receives 
water and sand and then strengthens the structure, the 
following seems to be the cause : just as other bodies, 
so also stones are blended of the elements. And 
those which have more air are soft ; more water, are 
pliant from the moisture ; more earth, are hard ; 
more fire, are more fragile. Therefore if stones of this 
last quality are crushed before they are burnt, and 
mixed with sand, and thrown into the work, they do 
not become solid, nor can they hold the building 
together. But when they are thrown into the kiln,i 
they are seized by the violent heat of the fire and lose 
the virtue of their former solidity. Their strength is 
burnt out and exhausted and they are left with open 
and empty pores. 3. Therefore when the moisture 
which is in the body of that stone, and the air, are 
burnt out and removed, and the stone retains the 
remaining latent heat, on being plunged into water 
(before it recovers power from fire), the moisture 
penetrates into the open pores, and it seethes and thus, 
being cooled again, it rejects the heat from the 
substance of the lime. Thus, moreover, whatever 
weight the stone possesses when it is thrown into the 
kiln, it cannot answer to that ^ when it is taken out ; 
but when it is weighed, the bulk remaining the same, 
it is found to lose about one-third of its weig-ht when 
the moisture is burnt out. Therefore, when the pores 
and attenuations of the lime are open, it catches up 
into itself the mixture of the sand ; thus it coheres 
and, as it dries, joins with the rubble and produces 
solid walling 

* This anticipation of the discovery of oxygen is note- 





1 Est etiam genus pulveris, quod efficit naturaliter 
res admirandas, Nascitur in regionibus Baianis in 
agris municipiorum, quae sunt circa Vesuvium mon- 
tem. Quod conmixtum cum calce et caemento non 
modo ceteris aedificiis praestat firmitates, sed etiam 
moles cum struuntur in mari, sub aqua solidescunt. 
Hoc autem fieri hac ratione videtur, quod sub his 
montibus et terrae ferventes sunt et fontes crebri, 
qui non essent si non in imo haberent aut e sulpure 
aut alumine aut bitumine ardentes maximos ignes. 
Igitur penitus ignis et flammae vapor per intervenia 
permanans et ardens efficit levem cam terram, et ibi 
quod nascitur tofus exsurgens,^ est sine liquore. Ergo 
cum tres res consimili ratione ignis vehementia 
formatae ^ in unam pervenerint mixtionem, repente 
reeepto liquore una cohaerescunt et celeriter umore 
duratae solidantur, neque eas fluctus neque vis aquae 

2 potest dissolvere. Ardores autem esse in his locis 
etiam haec res potest indicare, quod in montibus 
Cumanorum ^ Baianis sunt loca sudationibus ex- 
cavata, in quibus vapor fervidus ab imo nascens ignis 
vehementia perforat cam terram per eamque ma- 
nando * in his locis oritur et ita sudationum egregias 

1 exurgens // : exsurgens G. 

- foratae Nohl : formatae H. 

^ cumannorum H S. 

* post manando, fervidus ab imo nascens repetit H. 

^ Baiae on the Bay of Naples, near the northern end. It 
was a luxurious watering-place visited in April for the hot 
medicinal springs. 

BOOK II. c. VI. 


1. There is also a kind of powder which, by nature, 
produces wonderful results. It is found in the neigh- 
bourhood of Baiae ^ and in the lands of the municipalities 
round Mount \^esuvius. This being mixed with lime 
and rubble, not only furnishes strength to other build- 
ings, but also, when piers ^ are built in the sea, they set 
under water. Now this seems to happen for this reason : 
that under these mountainous regions there are both 
hot earth and many springs. And these would not 
be unless deep do^vn they had huge blazing fires of 
sulphur, alum or pitch. Therefore the fire and 
vapour of flame within, flowing through the cracks, 
makes that earth light. And the tufa which is found 
to come up there is free from moisture. Therefore, 
when three substances formed in like manner by the 
violence of fire come into one mixture, they suddenly 
take up water and cohere together. They are quickly 
hardened by the moisture and made solid, and can 
be dissolved neither by the waves nor the power of 
water. 2. But that there are fervent heats in these 
districts may be proved by this circumstance. In 
the hills of Baiae which belong to Cumae ^ sites are 
excavated for sweating-rooms.* In these hot vapour 
rising deep down perforates the soil by the violence 
of its heat, and passing through it rises in these places, 
and so produces striking advantages in sweating- 

^ Contracta pisces acquora sentiunt iactis in altum molibus. 
Hor. Odes, III. i. 33. 

^ Cumae north of Baiae, across the promontory of Misenum. 
* Also called Laconicum. 


efficit utilitates. Non minus etiam memorentur ^ 
antiquitus crevisse ardores et abundavisse sub 
Vesuvio monte et inde evomuisse circa agros flam- 
niam. Ideoque tunc quae spongia sive pumex 
Pompeianus vocatur excocto ex alio genere lapidis in 

3 banc redacta esse videtur generis qualitatem. Id 
autem genus spongiae, quod inde eximitur, non in 
omnibus locis nascitur nisi circum Actnam et collibus 
Mysiae, quae a Graecis Catacecaumene nominatur, et si 
quae eiusdem modi sunt locorum proprietates. Si 
ergo in his locis aquarum ferventes inveniuntur fontes 
et omnibus excavatis calidi vapores ipsaque loca ab 
antiquis memorantur pervagantes in agris habuisse 
ardores, videtur esse certum ab ignis vehementia ex 
tofo terraque, quemadmodum in fornacibus et a 

4 ealce, ita ex his ereptum esse liquorem. Igitur 
dissimilibus et disparibus rebus correptis et in 
unam potestatem conlatis, calida umoris ieiunitas 
aqua ^ repente satiata communibus corporibus latenti 
calore confervescit et vehementer efficit ea coire 
celeriterque unam soliditatis pei'cipere virtutem. 

Relinquetur desideratio, quoniam ita sunt in 
Etruria ex aqua calida crebri fontes, quid ita non 
etiam ibi nascitur pulvis, e quo eadem ratione sub 
aqua structura solidescat. Itaque visum est, ante- 
quam desideraretur, de his rebus, quemadmodum 
6 esse videantur, exponere. Omnibus locis et regioni- 
bus non eadem genera terrae nee lapides nascuntur, 
sed nonnulla sunt terrena, alia sabulosa itemque 
glareosa,^ aliis locis harenosa, non minus materia, et 

^ memorantur G : memorentur H. ^ aquae H. 
* glarcosa G : glariosa H. 

1 Burnt land. 

BOOK II. c. VI. 

rooms. Not less also let it be recorded, that heats in 
antiquity grew and abounded under Mount \'esuvius, 
and thence belched forth flame round the country. 
And therefore now that which is called " sponge- 
stone " or Pompeian pumice seems to be brought to 
this general quality from another kind of stone when 
it is subjected to heat. 3. But that kind of sponge 
stone which is taken thence is not found in all 
places, only round Etna and on the hills of Mysia 
(which is called Catacecaumene ^ by the Greeks), and 
if there are in any other places properties of that 
kind. If, therefore, in these places there are found 
hot springs, and in all excavations, warm vapours, and 
if the veiy places are related by the ancients to have 
had fires ranffinff over the fields, it seems to be certain 
that by the violence of fire, moisture has been removed 
from the tufa and earth just as from lime in kilns. 
4. Therefore, when unlike and unequal substances 
are caught together and brought into one nature, the 
hot desiccation, suddenly saturated with water, seethes 
together with the latent heat in the bodies affected, 
and causes them to combine vehemently and to gain 
rapidly one strong solidity. 

Since in Etruria ^ also there are frequent springs 
of hot water, there will remain the inquii-y why there 
also the powder is not found, from which in the same 
manner walling may set under water. Therefore it 
seemed good, before inquiry was made on these 
matters, to set forth how they seemed to come 
about. 5. Neither the same kinds of soil nor the 
same rocks are found in all places and regions, but 
some are earthy, others of gravel, others pebbly, in 
other places sandy material ; and generally there are 

^ Etruria distinguished from Italy. 



oninino dissimili disparique genere in regionum 
varietatibus qualitates insunt in terra. Maxime 
autem id sic licet ^ considerare, quod, qua mons 
Appenninus regionis Italiae Etruriaeque circa cingit, 
prope in omnibus locis non desunt fossicia harenaria, 
trans Appenninum vero, quae pars est ad ^ Adi'iati- 
cum mare, nulla invcniuntur, item Achaia, Asia, 
omnino trans mare, nee nominatur quidem. Igitur 
non in omnibus locis, quibus efFervent aquae calidae 
crebri fontes, eaedem ^ opportunitates possunt simili- 
ter concurrere, sed omnia, uti natura rerum constituit, 
non ad voluntatem hominum, sed ut fortuito dis- 
6 parata proereantur. Ergo quibus locis non sunt 
terrosi montes sed genere materiae, ignis vis per eius 
venas egrediens adurit eam. Quod est molle et 
tenerum, exurit, quod autem asperum, relinquit. 
Itaque uti Campania exusta terra cinis, sic in Etruria 
excocta materia efficitur carbunculus. Utraque 
autem sunt egregia in structuris, sed alia in terrenis 
aedificiis, alia etiam in maritimis molibus habent 
virtutem. Est autem materiae potestas mollior quam 
tofus, solidior quam terra, quo penitus ab uno 
vehementia vaporis adusto, nonnullis locis procreatur 
id genus harenae quod dicitur carbunculus. 


1 De calce et harena, quibus varietatibus sint et 
quas habeant virtutes, dixi. Sequitur ordo de lapi- 

^ sic licet rec : scilicet H. - ad ow . H. 

^ edem oportunitatis //. 

* Province including most of modem Greece. 
^ Province of Asia Minor. 

BOOK II. c. vi.-c. VII. 

found in the earth qualities of unlike and unequal 
kind with the various regions. But we may regard 
the matter especially in this way : almost everywhere, 
where the Apennine range encloses the regions of 
Italy and Etruria, sand-pits are found ; whereas 
across the Apennines, where the land adjoins the 
Adriatic, none are found. Generally also it is not 
indeed even named across the sea in Achaia ^ and 
Asia.^ Therefore not in all places in which frequent 
hot springs boil up can the same conveniences arise ; 
but all things are generated as the Nature of Things 
has determined, not for the pleasure of man, but 
disparate as though by chance. 6. Therefore where- 
ever mountains are not of earth but of a woody kind, 
the force of fire escaping through the veins burns it 
up. It burns out what is soft and tender, but leaves 
what is rough. Therefore just as in Campania, 
burnt-out earth becomes ashes, so in Etruria, charred 
stone becomes carbuncular. Both are excellent in 
walling. But some materials have advantages in 
buildings on land, and others in piers built into the 
sea. The nature of wood is softer than tufa, more 
solid than the earth ^ ; and when this is burnt deep 
down by the violence of vapour, there is generated in 
some places that kind of sand which is called lignite 



1. I HAVE spoken of lime and sand, both of what 
varieties they are and what virtues they possess. 
Next in order comes the description of the quarries 
' This statement is possible on Vitruvius' principles. 



dicinis explicare, de quibus et quadrata saxa et 
caementorum ad aedificia eximuntur copiae et 
conparantur. Haec autem inveniuntur esse dis- 
paribus et dissimilibus virtutibus. Sunt enim aliae 
molles, uti sunt circa urbem Rubrae, Pallenses, 
Fidenates, Albanae ; aliae temperatae, uti Tibur- 
tinae,^ Amiterninae, Soractinae et quae sunt his 
generibus ; nonnullae durae, uti siliceae.^ Sunt 
etiam alia genera plura, uti in Campania rubrum 
et nigrum tofum, in Umbria et Piceno et in Venetia 
2 albus, quod etiam serradentatautilignumsecatur. Sed 
haec omnia quae mollia sunt, hanc habent utilitatem, 
quod ex his saxa cum sunt exempta, in opei'e faciliter 
tractantur. Et si sunt in locis tectis, sustineant 
laboi'em, si autem in apertis et patentibus, gelicidiis 
et pruina congesta friantur ^ et dissolvuntur. Item 
secundum oram maritimam* ab salsugine exesa^ dif- 
fluunt neque perferunt aestus. Tiburtina vero et quae 
eodem genere sunt omnia, sufFerunt et ab oneribus et 
a tempestatibus iniurias, sed ab igni non possunt esse 
tuta, simulque sunt ab eo tacta, dissiliunt et dissi- 
pantur, ideo quod temperatura naturali parvo sunt 
umore itemque non multum habent terreni, sed 
aeris plurimum et ignis. Igitur cum et umor et 

1 tibertinao H. " siliciae //. 

3 friantur H : fiicantur G. 

* oram maritimam rec : ora maritima //. 

* exesa ed. Fl : exea H. 

^ Of tufa, in the city. ^ Not known. 

' Caste] Giubiieo, 5 m. north of Rome, hill of tufa. 
* Lapis Albanus or Peperino of grey colour. 
^ Lapis Tiburtinus or Travertine, yellowish- white limestone. 
Up to Sulla's time, little used. 
® In Sabine coimtry. 


BOOK II. c. vii. 

from which both squared stone and supplies of rubble 
are taken and furnished for buildings. Now these 
are found to be of unequal and unlike virtues. For 
some are soft, as they are in the neighbourhood of the 
city at Grotta Rossa,i Palla 2, Fidenae ^ and Alba^; 
others are medium, as at Tivoli,^ Amiternum,^ 
Soracte,' and those which are of these kinds ; some 
hard, like lava. There are also many other kinds, as 
red and black tufa in Campania ^ ; in Umbria and 
Picenum and in Venetia, white stone which indeed is 
cut, like wood, with a toothed saw.^ 2. But all these 
quarries which are of soft stone have this advantage : 
when stones are taken from these quarries they are 
easily handled in working, and if they are in covered 
places, they sustain their burden, but if they are in 
open and exposed places, they combine with ice and 
hoar frost, are turned to powder and are dissolved : 
along the sea-coast, also, being weathered by the 
brine, they crumble and do not endure the heat. 
Travertine, however, and all stones which are of the 
same kind, withstand injury from heavy loads and 
from storms ; but from fire they cannot be safe ^^ ; as 
soon as they are touched by it they crack and break 
up. And the reason is that by the nature of their 
composition they have little moisture and also not 
much earth, but much air and fire. Therefore, since 

' Limestone ridge north of Rome. 

* The tufa period at Pompeii preceded the sending of a 
colony of Roman soldiers, 80 b.c. 

^ Saws were used in Egypt worked by hand; later also in 
Rome. Sawmills worked by water-power were used on the 
Moselle in the fourth cent. a.d. Cf. trahens per levia marmora 
serras. Auson. Mosella, 363. 

^^ Lapis Albanus, peperino, as resisting fire was ordered to 
be used by Nero, after the fire at Rome. Tac. Ann. XV. 43. 



terrenum ^ in his minus inest, turn etiam ignis, tactu 
et vi vaporis ex his aere fugato, penitus insequens 
interveniorum ^ vacuitates occupans fervescit et 

3 efficit a suis ardentia corporibus simiha. Sunt vero 
item lapidicinae conplures in finibus Tarquiniensium, 
quae dicuntur Anicianae, colore quemadmodum 
Albanae, quorum officinae maxima sunt circa lacum 
Vulsiniensem, item praefectura Statonensi. Haec 
autem habent infinitas virtutes ; neque enim his geli- 
cidiorum tempestas neque ignis tactus potest nocere, 
sed est firma et ad vetustatem ideo pei'manens, quod 
parum habet e naturae mixtione aeris et ignis, 
umoris autem temperate plurimumque terreni. Ita 
spissis conparationibus sohdata neque ab tempestati- 

4 bus neque ab ignis vehementia nocetur. Id autem 
maxime iudicare hcet e monumentis, quae sunt circa 
municipium Ferenti ^ ex his facta lapidicinis. Nam- 
que habent et statuas amplas factas egregie et 
minora sigilla floresque et acanthos eleganter 
scalptos * ; quae, cum sint vetusta, sic apparent 
recentia, uti si sint modo facta, Non minus etiam 
fabri aerarii de his lapidicinis in aeris flatura formas^ 
conparatas ^ habent ; ex his ad aes fundendum 
maximas utilitates. Quae si prope urbem essent, 
dignum esset, ut ex his officinis omnia opera per- 

5 ficerentur. Cum ergo propter propinquitatem 

^ terrenum ed : -nus H. 

- interveniorum Joe : inter venarum //. 

^ Ferenti Mar : ferentis //. * scalptos // : sculptos G. 
* formas G. ® comparatis rec : conparatas H. 

^ Corneto on the coast, 60 miles n. of Rome. 

- Cf. Dennis, Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria, C. XIII. 
The Anician house was represented by a praetor in the third 



there is less moisture and earth in these, then also 
the fire, when the air has been expelled by the con- 
tact and violence of the heat, following far within 
and seizing upon the empty spaces of the fissures, 
seethes and produces, from its own substance, similar 
burning bodies. 3. But there are also several 
quarries in the neighbourhood of Tarquinii,^ known 
as the Anician,'^ in colour like those of Alba, of which 
the workings are mostly round the lake of Bolsena,^ 
and also in the prefecture of Statonia.'* These also 
have infinite virtues ; for they can neither be injured 
by weathering under frost nor by the approach of 
fire. But the stone is firm and wears well over a long 
time, because it has little air and fire in its natural 
mixture, a medium amount of moisture, and much of 
the earthy. Thus solidified by its close composition, 
it is injured ^ neither by weathering nor by the 
violence of fire. 4. Now this we may especially 
judge from the monuments, which are about the 
municipality of Ferentum,^ made from these quarries. 
For they have large statues strikingly made, and lesser 
figures and flowers and acanthus finely carved. These, 
old as they are, appear as fresh as if they were just 
made. None the less also, coppersmiths in their 
bronze castings get moulds from these quarries, and 
find great advantages from them for casting bronze. 
And if these Avere near the city, it would be worth 
while to execute all works frona these stoneyards. 
5. Since then, because of their nearness, necessity 

Macedonian war, by friends of Cicero; later it became the 
first family in Rome. 

3 Dennis, op. cit. C. XXVII. * Dennis, op. cit. C. XXIV. 

^ nocetur : a striking solecism. 

* Near Viterbo ; not to be confused with town of same name 
in Apulia. The monuments were probably in part sarcophagi. 



necessitas cogat ex Rubris lapidicinis et Pallensibus 
et quae sunt urbi proximae copiis uti, si qui voluerit 
sine vitiis perficere, ita erit praeparandum. Cum 
aedificandum fuerit, ante biennium ea saxa non 
hieme sed aestate eximantur et iacentia pernianeant 
in locis patentibus. Quae autem eo biennio a tem- 
pestatibus tacta laesa fuerint, ea in fundamenta 
coiciantur ; cetera, quae non erunt vitiata, ab natura 
rerum probata durare poterunt supra terram aedifi- 
cata. Nee solum ea in quadratis lapidibus sunt 
observanda, sed etiam in caementiciis structuris. 


1 Structurarum genera sunt haec : reticulatum quo 
nunc omnes utuntur, et antiquum quod incertum 
dicitur. Ex his venustius est reticulatum, sed ad 
rimas faciendas ideo paratum, quod in omnes partes 
dissoluta habet cubilia et coagmenta. Incerta vero 
caementa alia super alia sedentia inter seque in- 
bricata non speciosam sed firmiorem quam reticulata 

2 praestant structuram. Utraque autem ex minutis- 
simis sunt instruenda, uti materia ex calce et liarena 
crebriter parietes satiati diutius contineantur. 
Molli enim et rara potestate cum sint, exsiccant 
sugendo e materia sucum ; cum autem superarit et 
abundarit copia calcis et harenae, paries ^ plus habens 

^ paries rec : partes H. 

^ The opus incertum was given up about the time of Sulla, 
and replaced by the opus reticulatum, made of tufa prisms in 
imitation of network. Laneiani, R.E. -45. This lasted till the 
time of the Antonines. 

BOOK II. c. vii.-c. via. 

compels the use of supplies from the quarries 
of Grotta Rossa and Palla, and others which 
are nearest to the city, we must take precautions if 
we wish to complete our work without faults. When 
we have to build, let the stone be got out two years 
before, not in winter but in summer, and let it lie 
and stay in exposed places. Those stones, however, 
which in the two yeai's suffer damage by weathering, 
are to be thrown into the foundations. Those which 
are not faulty are tested by Nature, and can endure 
when used in building above ground. And these 
precautions are to be taken not only in the case of 
squared stones, but also for rough stone or rubble 



1. There are two kinds of walling ; one like net- 
work, opus reticulatum} which all use now, and the old 
manner which is called optis incertum?- Of these the 
reticulatum is more graceful, but it is likely to cause 
cracks because it has the beds and joints in every 
direction. The " uncertain " rough work, opus 
incerhim, lying course above course and breaking 
joints, furnishes walling which is not pleasing but is 
stronger than the reticulatum. 2. Both kinds of 
walling are to be built with very minute stones ; so 
that the walls, thoroughly saturated with mortar of 
lime and sand, may hold longer together. For since 
the stones are of a soft and open nature, they dry up 
the moisture by sucking it out of the mortar. But 
when the supply of lime and sand is abundant, the 
wall having more moisture will not quickly become 


umoris non eito fiet evanidus, sed ab his continetur. 
Simul autem umida potestas e materia per caemen- 
torum raritatem fuerit exsucta ^ calxque ab harena 
discedat et dissolvatur, item caementa non possunt 
cum his cohaerere, sed in vetustatem parietes effi- 

3 ciunt ruinosos.^ Id autem hcet animadvertere etiam 
de nonnullis monumentis, quae cii-ca urbem facta 
sunt e marmore seu lapidibus quadratis intrinsecus- 
que medio calcata : structuris vetustate evanida 
facta materia caementorumque exstructa raritate, 
proruunt et coagmentorum ab ruina dissolutis 

4 iuncturis dissipantur. Quodsi qui noluerit in id 
vitium incidere, medio cavo servato secundum ortho- 
statas ^ intrinsecus ex rubro ^ saxo quadrato aut ex 
testa aut ex silicibus ordinariis struat bipedales 
parietes, et cum his ansis ferrei^ et plumbo frontes 
vinctae sint. Ita enim non acervatim,^ sed ordine 
structum opus poterit esse sine vitio sempiternum, 
quod cubiha et coagmenta eorum inter se sedentia et 
iuncturis alligata non protrudent opus neque ortho- 
statas inter se rehgatos labi patiuntur. 

5 Itaque non est contemnenda Graecorum structura ; 
utuntur e molH caemento poUta, sed cum discesserunt 
a quadrato, ponunt de silice seu lapide duro ordinaria, 
et ita uti latericia struentes alhgant eorum alternis 

^ exsucta rec : exsuta //. - ruinosos H : rimosos 0. 
^ orchostatas H. * robro //. 

® acervatim rec : acervati H. 

^ The tombs outside Rome along the Appian Way furnished 
examples by which intending builders could judge the 
durability of materials. 


perishable, but holds together. When once, also, the 
moist power has been sucked out of the mortar, 
through the loose structure of the rubble, and the 
lime separates from the sand and is dissolved, the 
rubble also cannot cohere with them, but renders the 
walls ruinous with lapse of time. 3. This we may 
observe from some tombs which are built near ^ the 
city, faced with marble or squared stone, and, in the 
interior, constructed with walling material pressed 
down. The mortar becomes perishable in time and 
is drawn out through the loose joints of the rubble. 
Hence the tombs collapse and disappear when the 
union of the joints is broken by settlement. 4. But 
if anyone does not wish to fall into this fault, let him 
keep the middle hollow behind the facings, and, on the 
inside, build walls two feet thick of red square stone ^ 
or of baked brick ^ or of lava,'* laid in proper courses, 
and let the facings be tied to these by iron clamps ^ 
run in with lead. For thus the work is not built all 
of a heap but in order, and can last ; because the 
beds and joints settling together and bound by ties 
do not thrust the work forward nor allow the facings 
bound in this way to give. 

5. Therefore the walling of the Greeks is not to be 
made light of. For they do not employ walling of 
soft rubble with stucco facing, but Avhen they depart 
from ashlar,^ they lay courses of lava or hard stone, 
and, as with brick buildings, they bind their joints in 

2 Tufa. 

^ testa — note the gradual improvement in building metlioda. 

* silex — c. V. 1. 

^ Re-invented by Brunelleschi. Orthostata, Greek word for 
Latin frons = facing. Vitruvius probably used Greek as his 

* Squared stones. 

VOL. I. I 


coriis coagmenta, et sic maxime ad aeternitatem 
firmas perfieiunt virtutes. Haec autem duobus 
generibus struuntur; ex his unum isodomum,^ 

6 alterum pseudisodomum ^ appellatur. Isodomum 
dicitur, cum omnia coria aequa ci*assitudine fuerint 
structa ; pseudisodomum, cum inpares et inaequales 
ordines corioi'um diriguntur. Ea utraque sunt ideo 
firma, primum quod ipsa caementa sunt spissa et 
solida proprietate neque de materia possunt exsugere 
liquorem, sed conservant ea in suo umore ad summam 
vetustatem ; ipsaque eorum cubilia primum plana et 
librata posita non patiuntur ruere materiam, sed 
perpetua parietum crassitudine religata continent 

7 ad summam vetustatem. Altera est quam enplecton ^ 
appellant, qua etiam nostri rustici utuntur. Quorum ^ 
frontes poliuntur, reliqua ita, uti sunt nata, cum 
materia conlocata alternis alligant coagmentis. Sed 
nostri celeritati studentes, erecta conlocantes fronti- 
bus serviunt et in medio faciunt fractis ^ separatim 
cum materia caementis. Ita tres suscitantur in ea 
structura crustae, duae frontium et una media 
farturae. Graeci vero non ita, sed plana conlocantes 
et longitudines eorum alternis in crassitudinem 
instruentes, non media farciunt, sed e suis frontatis 
perpetuam et unam ^ crassitudinem parietum con- 
solidant. Prae caetera interponunt singulos crassi- 

1 hisodomum //. ^ speudisodomum H, 

* enplecton H. 

* quorum i. marg. sitppl. S'. 

* fractis Joe : factis H. 

* et unam Schn : et in unam //. 

1 That is, with " bond " ; cf. English and Flemish bond in 
modern brickwork. In English bond, there are alternate 
courses of headers and stretchers ; in Flemish, headers and 



alternate courses,^ and so they produce strength firm 
enough to last. Well, these are built in two kinds. 
Of these one is called isodomum, the other is called 
pseudisodomum. 6. It is called isodomum when all 
the courses are built of an equal thickness ; pseudi- 
sodomum when the courses are unequal and unlike. 
Both are firm, for the reason especially that the 
rubble itself is of a thick and solid property, and can- 
not suck out the moisture fi-om the mortar ; the rubble 
preserves the mortar with its moisture for a long 
time ; and the bed-joints of the stone, being laid flat 
and levelled, do not allow the mortar to sink down ; 
but the stones being bonded in the unbroken thick- 
ness of the walls, keep the mortar together for a long 
time. 7. The second is that which they call enpleclon, 
which our country people still use. In this the faces 
are dressed ^ ; the rest of the stones are laid with 
mortar in their natural state, and they bond them 
with alternating joints. But people nowadays, being 
eager for speedy building, attend only to the facing, 
setting the stones on end, and fill it up in the middle 
with broken rubble and mortar.^ Thus three slices 
are raised in this walling, two of the facings, and a 
middle one of the filling in. Not so the Greeks who 
lay the stones level and put the headers and stretchers 
alternately. Thus they have not to fill in the middle, 
but with their through facing stones they render 
solid the unbroken and single thickness of the walls. 
In addition to the rest, they insert special stones 

stretchers alternate in the same course. Hence the joints in 
the course above do not come over the joints in tlie course 

2 columnae politae sunt. Cic. Q. Fr. III. i. 1. 

^ materia, cementing material. 



tudine perpetua utraque parte ^ frontatos, quos 
diatonous ^ appellant, qui maxime religando con- 
firmant parietum soliditatem. 

8 Itaque si qui voluerit ex his commentariis animad- 
vertere et elegere genus structurae, perpetuitatis 
poterit rationem habere. Non enim quae sunt e 
molli caemento subtili facie venustatis, non eae 
possunt esse in vetustate ^ non ruinosae. Itaque 
cum arbitrio ^ eommunium parietum sumuntur, non 
aestimant eos quanti facti fuerint, sed cum ex tabulis 
inveniunt eorum loeationes, pretia praeteritorum 
annorum singulorum dedueunt oetogesimas et ita — 
ex reliqua summa parte reddi pro his parietibus — 
sententiam pronuntiant eos non posse plus quam 

9 annos lxxx durare. De latericiis vero, dummodo ad 
perpendiculum sint stantes, nihil dedueitur, sed 
quanti fuerint olim facti, tanti esse semper aestiman- 
tur. Itaque nonnullis civitatibus et publica opera et 
privatas domos etiam regias a latere structas licet 
videre : et primum Athenis murum, qui spectat ad 
Hymettum ^ montem et Pentelensem ; ^ item Patris ' 
in aede lovis et Herculis latericias cellas, cum circa 
lapideae in aede epistylia sint et columnae ; in Italia 

' partes H. ^ diatonos H. 

^ vetustate h : venustate //. 

* arbitri Polenus : arbitrio //. 

^ hymectiu H. * tentelensem H. 

' item Patris Gal : item paries H. 

^ For building laws : see I. i. 10. 

2 This could only come in when the improved methods of 
brick building were established under the empire. 

' The baked bricks were used in Greece until the time of 

4 To the east. ^ To the north. 



facing on either front of unbroken thickness. These 
they call diatonos (through-stones), and they, by 
bonding, especially strengthen the solidity of the wall. 
8. Therefore if anyone will from these commen- 
taries observe and select a style of walling, he will 
be able to take account of durability. For those 
which are of soft rubble with a thin and pleasing 
facing cannot fail to give way with lapse of time. 
Therefore when arbitrators ^ are taken for party- 
walls, they do not value them at the price at which 
they were made, but when from the accounts they 
find the tenders for them, they deduct as price of the 
passing of each year the 80th part, and so — in that 
from the remaining sum repayment is made for 
these walls — they pronounce the opinion that the 
walls cannot last more than 80 yeai-s. 9. There is no 
deduction ^ made from the value of brick walls pro- 
vided that they remain plumb ; but they are always 
valued at as much as they were built for. Therefore 
in some cities we may see both public works and pri- 
vate houses and even palaces built of brick : ^ and 
first, the wall at Athens which looks to Mount 
Hymettus ^ and Pentelicus ^ ; also at Patrae,^ 
brick celiac in the temple of Jupiter "^ and Hercules, 
while round the temple there are entablatures and 
columns of stone ; in Italy at Arezzo ^ there is an old 

® Augustus made this a colony. It became the chief city 
of the Peloponnese. " It was the most Roman town in Greece." 
Tyrrell and Purser, ad Cic. Epp. 512. 1. 

' There was a temple of Olympian Jupiter (Zeus) in the 
forum, Paus. VII. 20. 2. 

* Arezzo was the chief source of the terra sigillata, red 
" Samian " ware. Oswald and Pryce's Terra Sigillata may 
be consulted with advantage. The technical process of 
making this ware has been rediscovered. Neuburger, 147. 



Arvetio vetustuni egregie factum murum. Trallibus ^ 
domus regibus Attalicis facta, quae ad habitandum 
semper datur ei, qui civitatis gerit sacerdotium. 
Item Lacedaemone e quibusdam parietibus etiam 
picturae excisae intersectis lateribus inclusae sunt in 
liffneis formis et in comitium ad ornatum aedilitatis 

10 Varronis et Murenae fuerunt adlatae. Croesi 
domus, quam Sardiani civibus ad requiescendum 
aetatis otio seniorum collegio gerusiam dedicaverunt ; 
item Halicarnasso potentissimi ^ regis Mausoli domus, 
cum Proconnensio marmore omnia haberet ornata, 
parietes habet latere structos, qui ad hoc tempus 
egregiam praestant firmitatem ita tectoriis operibus 
expoliti, uti vitri perluciditatem videantur habere. 
Neque is rex ab inopia id fecit ; in infinitis enim 
vectigahbus erat fartus, quod imperabat Cariae toti. 

11 Acumen autem eius et sollertiam ad aedificia paranda 
sic hcet considerare. Cum esset enim natus My- 
iasis 3 et animadvertisset Halicarnasso locum * 
naturaliter esse munitum, emporiumque idoneura 
portum utile, ibi sibi domum constituit. Is autem 

^ tralibus H. ^ alicarnasso H. potentissimae H. 

^ myiasis H' : mylasus H G'. 
^ locum G : loco cum H. 

1 In Asia Minor, S. of Ionia. 
^ The kings of Pergamus. 

=* The Priest of the City was the chief magistrate. He was 
usually called Asiarch, Ads xix. 31. 

* Frescoes on the brickwork. 

* Ancient meeting-place of citizens, N.E. of forum. 
Murena was probably aedile 68 B.C. with Varro, the famous 


* King of Lydia 560-546 B.C. 

^ SarcUs : a fourth-century B.C. temple of Artemis was 
excavated 1910-1912; stamped brick with winged Artemis 
probably contemporary with Croesus, J.H.S. XXIX. 299. 


BOOK II. c. viir. 

brick wall excellently built. At Tralles ^ there is a 
palace built for the Attalid kings ,2 which now is 
always given for a house to him who is the Priest of 
the City ^ : also at Lacedaemon the bricks were cut 
through from certain walls, the paintings * were 
removed and enclosed in wooden frames, and brought 
into the Comitium ^ as an ornament for the aedileship 
of Varro and Murena. 10. There is the palace of 
Croesus,® which the people of Sardis ' dedicated to 
their fellow-citizens for repose in the leisure of their 
age, as an Almshouse ^ for the College of the Elders. 
At Halicarnassus ^ also, although the palace of the 
mighty king Mausolus ^'^ had all parts finished with 
Proconnesian ^^ mai'ble, it has walls built of brick.^^ 
And these to this day maintain a striking firmness, 
being so finished with plaster work that they seem to 
have the translucency of glass. Nor was it for lack 
of means that the king did this. For he was enriched 
by enormous revenues because he ruled over all Caria. 
11. We may thus consider his shrewdness and skill in 
providing buildings. For although he was born at 
Melisso,!^ he observed at Halicarnassus a place 
naturally fortified, a suitable market, and a useful 
harbour, and he there established his palace. ^^ Now 

^ Lat. senuculum. Festus, s.v. 

* Over against Cos, on the mainland; excavated by Sir 
Charles Newton 1852-1858. The remains are in the British 

^0 Mausolus, King of Caria, 377-353 B.C. Vitruvius' 
description of his monument guided the excavations of 

^^ Black and white marble from island of Marmora (hence 
its name). It was used largely at Ravenna under the Empire. 

1^ Baked brick was found at Halicarnassus. 

1^ Mylasa, north of Halicarnassus, old capital of Caria. 

^* Newton, Plans and Discoveries, Vol. II. PI. I. 



locus est theatri curvaturae similis. Itaque in 
imo secundum portum forum est constitutum ; per 
mediam autem altitudinis curvaturam praecinction- 
emque platea ampla latitudine facta, in qua media 
Mausoleum ita egregiis operibus est factum, ut in 
septem spectaculis nominetur. In summa area media 
Martis fanum habens statuam colossicam acroUthon 
nobili manu Leocharis ^ factam. Hanc autem 
statuam alii Leocharis, alii Timothei putant esse. In 
cornu autem summo dextro Veneris et Mereuri ^ 
12 fanum ad ipsum Salmacidis fontem. Is autem falsa 
opinione putatur venerio morbo inplicare eos, qui ex 
eo biberint. Sed haec opinio quare per orbem terrae 
falso rumore^ sit pervagata, non pigebit exponere. 
Non enim quod dieitur moUes et inpudicos ex ea aqua 
fieri, id potest esse, sed est eius fontis potestas 
perlucida saporque egregius. Cum autem Melas et 
Areuanias ab Argis et Troezene * coloniam com- 
munem eo loci deduxerunt, barbaros Car as et Lelegas 
eiecerunt.^ Hi autem ad montes fugati inter se 

^ Leocharis Bode : telocharis H. ^ mereuri H. 

^ falso rumoro Joe : falsorum ore H. 

* Troezene Joe : troezen H. * eicerunt H 0. 

1 Literally : " about the middle of the curvature of the 

2" Sculpture in B.M. 

3 Spectacula : usually the Pyramids ; the Gardens of 
Babylon; the Temple of Diana (Artemis) at Ephesus ; Phidias' 
statue of Jupiter (Zeus) at Olympia; the Colossus of Rhodes; 
the Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria; the Mausoleum. 

* Newton, op. cit., II. 137. * Ibid., II. 141. 

* acroUthon : i.e. a herm -nnth head, hands, feet of marble. 
' Leocharcs carved a bust, it is said, of the youthful 

Alexander. There is a fine copy of his Ganymede in the 
Vatican. He carved the sculptures on the west side of the 



that place is like the curvature of a theatre. The 
forum is placed at the lowest level along the harbour. 
But about the middle of the natural amphitheatre^ 
and, as it were, in a cross gangway, a street is con- 
structed of ample width, in the middle of which the 
Mausoleum ^ is built of such splendid workmanship 
that it is named among the Seven Sights of the world. ^ 
In the middle of the top of the citadel * is a temple 
of Mars 5 having a statue of a colossus with marble 
extremities ^ made by the famous hand of Leo- 
chares.' This statue some think is by Leochares, 
others by Timotheus.^ On the right wing at the top 
is a temple of Venus and Mercury^ against Salmacis' ^'^ 
fountain itself. 12. This fountain, however, by a 
mistaken opinion, is thought to afflict with an 
aphrodisiac disease ^^ those who drink of it. And why 
this opinion has wandered over the world thi-ough 
mistaken rumour it will not be inconvenient to set 
forth. For this cannot be because, as it is said, 
people are made effeminate and shameless by that 
water ; the virtue of the spring is clearness and its 
flavour is excellent. Now when Melas and Arevanias 
led thither a joint colony from Argos and Troezen, 
they cast out the barbarians, Carians and Leleges. 
But these being driven to the hills, gathered together 

* Timotheus carv^ed the sculpture on the south side of the 

* Newton found no traces of this temple, II. 144. 

^^ The native town of Salmacis adjoined Halicarnassus. 
The two towns had one assembly, but their several magis- 
trates for each town. Newton found no fountain answering 
to the description in the text. Dittenberger, Sylloge, 5. The 
main street runs east and west. 

11 Vitruvius' scientific attitude to medicine renders this 
reference noteworthy. 



congregantes discurrebant et ibi latrocinia facientes 
crudeliter eos vastabant. Postea de colonis unus 
ad eum fontem propter bonitatem aquae quaestus 
causa tabernam omnibus copiis instruxit eamque 
exercendo eos barbaros allectabat. Ita singillatim 
deeurrentes et ad coetus convenientes e duro ferro- 
que ^ more commutati in Graecorum consuetudinem 
et suavitatem sua voluntate reducebantur. Ergo ea 
aqua non inpudico morbi vitio, sed humanitatis 
dulcedine mollitis animis barbarorum earn famam est 

13 Relinquitur nunc, quoniam ad explicationem 
moenium eorum sum invectus, totam ^ uti sunt defi- 
niam. Quemadmodum enim in dextra parte 
fanum est Veneris et fons supra scriptus, ita in 
sinistro cornu regia domus, quam rex Mausolus ^ 
ad suam rationem conlocavit. Conspicitur enim ex 
ea ad dextram partem forum et portus moeniumque ^ 
tota finitio, sub sinistram secretus sub montibus^ 
latens portus, ita ut nemo posset, quid in eo geratur, 
aspicere nee scire, ut rex ipse de sua domo remigibus 
et militibus sine ullo sciente quae opus essent, spec- 

14 taret.^ Itaque post mortem Mausoli Artemisiam 
uxorem eius regnantem Rhodii indignantes mulierem 
imperare civitatibus Cariae totius, armata classe 
profecti sunt, uti id regnum occuparent. Tum 
Artemisiae cum esset id renuntiatum, in eo portu 

1 ferroque //. ^ tota G : tota H G". 

^ manu solus H. * portus H" S : portum H G. 

^ moenibus Boss (rec) : montibus H. 

^ spectaret Cj Sulp : spirarent H G. 

1 Si ager secundum viam et opportunus viatoribns locus, 
aedificandae tabernae diversoriae. Varro, R.B. I. ii. 23. 



and made raids, and by brigandage they devastated 
the Greeks cruelly. But afterwards one of the 
colonists,^ for the sake of profit, fitted up an inn with 
complete supplies, near the spring, on account of the 
goodness of the water, and running the inn, he began 
to attract the barbarians. So coming down one by 
one, and mixing with society, they changed of their 
o\vn accord from their rough and wild habits to Greek 
customs and affability. Therefore this water obtained 
such a reputation, not by the plague of an immodest 
disease, but through the softening of savage breasts 
by the delights of civilisation. 

13. Since now I am brought to the description of 
these walls," it remains to outline it completely as they 
are. For just as on the right side there are the 
temple of Venus and the spring above described, so 
on the left wing is the royal palace which King 
Mausolus had built to his own plan. From it there is 
seen on the right side the forum and harbour and the 
whole circuit of the walls ; under the left there is a 
secret harbour lying hid under high ground, in such a 
way that no one can see or know what is going on in 
it, so that the king from his own palace could see ^ 
what was necessary for his sailors and soldiers, 
without anyone else knowing. 14. Therefore when, 
after the death of Mausolus, his wife Artemisia^ 
began to reign, the Rhodians were indignant that a 
woman should rule over the cities throughout Caria, 
and equipping a fleet they set out to seize the king- 
dom. It was reported to Artemisia. She hid the 

2 Mention is made of a brick wall. Arrian, Anabasis, I. 
xxii. 1. 

^ The reading in the text is an emendation made in a late MS. 

* Artemisia, sister and wife of Mausolus, reigned 353- 
350 B.C. 



abstrusani classem celatis remigibus et epibatis 
conparatis, reliquos autem cives in muro esse iussit. 
Cum autem Rhodii ornata classe in portum maiorem 
exposuissent, plausum iussit ab muro his darent^ 
pollicerique se oppidum traditui'os. Qui cum pene- 
travissent intra murum relictis navibus inanibus, 
Artemisia repente fossa facta in pelagum eduxit 
classem ex portu minore et ita invecta est in maiorem. 
Expositis autem militibus classem Rhodiorum inanem 
abduxit in altum. Ita Rhodii non habentes, quo se 
reciperent, in medio conclusi in ipso foi'o sunt 

15 trucidati. Ita Artemisia in navibus Rhodiorum suis 
militibus et remigibus inpositis Rhodum est profecta. 
Rhodii autem, cum prospexissent suas naves laureatas 
venire, opinantes cives victores reverti hostes 
receperunt. Turn Artemisia Rhodo capta principibus 
occisis tropaeum in urbem Rhodo suae victoriae 
constituit aeneasque duas statuas fecit, unam 
Rhodiorum civitatis, alteram suae imaginis, et ita 
figuravit Rhodiorum civitati stigmata inponentem. 
Id autem postea Rhodii religione inpediti, quod nefas 
est tropaea dedicata removeri, circa eum locum 
aedificium struxerunt et id erecta Graia statione 
texerunt, ne qui possit aspicere, et id abaton vocitari 

16 Cum ergo tam magna potentia reges ^ non contemp- 
serint latericiorum pai'ietum structuras, quibus et 
vectigalibus et praeda saepius licitum fuerat non 
modo caementicio aut quadrato saxo sed etiam 

^ dare G : darent H. ^ abathon. 

^ reges Joe : regis. 

Mark set upon slaves. ^ Plut. Bom. Q. 37. 

^ statio, a guardhouse. 


BOOK 11. c. viii. 

fleet in the harbour, conceahng the rowers and the 
marines she had got together, and ordered the rest 
of the citizens to man the walls. Now \vhen the 
Rhodians had landed, with a fleet well equipped, in 
the greater harbour, she commanded the citizens to 
greet them from the walls and to promise to surrender 
the town. These left their ships unmanned and 
penetrated within the wall. Artemisia, using an 
artificial outlet into the sea, suddenly led out her fleet 
from the lesser harbour and thus sailed into the 
greater. She then landed her soldiers and took the 
empty Rhodian fleet away to sea. So the Rhodians, 
having no place of retreat, were surrounded and 
killed in the forum itself. 15. So Artemisia, placing 
her own troops and rowers in the ships of the Rhodians 
sailed for Rhodes. But when the Rhodians saw their 
own ships come wreathed with laurel, they thought 
their fellow-citizens returned victorious and let the 
enemy in. Then Artemisia took Rhodes, killed the 
leading citizens, and set up a trophy of her 
victory in the city of Rhodes, having two bronze 
statues made, one of the city of Rhodes, the other 
in her own likeness. She had the latter figured as 
setting a brand ^ upon the city of Rhodes. But 
afterwai-ds the Rhodians, being restrained by a 
religious scruple because it is forbidden for trophies 
once dedicated to be removed,- erected a building 
round the spot and protected it with a Greek out- 
post ^ to prevent anyone seeing, and ordered this 
to be called " unapproachable " (abaton). 

16. Since, therefore, kings of very great power 
have not disdained walls built of brick (in cases where 
wealth gained by taxation and plunder allowed the 
use not only of rubble or squared stone, but even 



marmoreo habere, non puto oportere inprobare quae 
sunt e latericia structura facta aedificia, dummodo 
recte sint tecta. Sed id genus quid ita populo 
Romano in urbe fieri non oporteat, exponam, quaeque 
sunt eius rei causae et rationes, non praetermittam. 

17 Leges publicae non patiuntur maiores crassitudines 
quam sesquipedales constitui loco communi ; ceteri 
autem parietes, ne spatia angustiora fierent, eadem 
crassitudine conlocantur. Latericii vero. nisi diplinthii 
aut triplinthii fuerint, sesquipedali crassitudine non 
possunt plus ^ unam sustinere contignationem. In 
ea autem maiestate urbis et civium infinita fre- 
quentia innumerabiles habitationes opus est explicare. 
Ergo cum recipere non possit - area planata tantam 
multitudinem ad habitandum in urbe, ad auxilium 
altitudinis aedificiorum res ipsa coegit devenire. 
Itaque pilis lapideis structuris testaceis, parietibus 
caementiciis ^ altitudines * extructae contignationibus 
crebris coaxatae cenaculorum ad summas utilitates 
perficiunt despectationes. Ergo moenibus e con- 
tignationibus variis alto spatio multiplicatis populus 
Romanus egregias habetsineinpeditione habitationes. 

18 Quoniam ergo explicata ratio est, quid ita in urbe 
propter necessitatem angustiarum non patiuntur 
esse latei'icios parietes, cum extra urbem opus erit 
his uti, sine vitiis ad vetustatem, sic erit facien- 
dum. Summis parietibus structura testacea sub 

1 plus quam unam G : plus unam H. 

2 possint Kr : possunt. ^ caementaciis H. 
* altitudinis H. 

1 Plin. N.H. XXXV. 17.3. This refers to sun-dried bricks, 


BOOK II. c. viii. 

of marble), I do not think that buildings which are 
made of brick walls are to be disregarded so long 
as they are duly roofed. But why this fashion 
ought not to be followed out by the Roman people 
in the city I will set forth, and will not omit the 
causes and reasons of this. 17. Public statutes 
do not allow a thickness of more than a foot and a 
half to be used for party walls. But other walls 
also are put up of the same thickness lest the space 
be too much narrowed. Now brick walls of a foot 
and a half — -not being two or three bricks thick — 
cannot sustain more than one story. ^ Yet with 
this greatness of the city and the unlimited 
crowding of citizens, it is necessary to provide very 
numerous dwellings. Therefore since a level site 
could not receive such a multitude to dwell in the 
city, circumstances themselves have compelled the 
resort to raising the height of buildings. And so 
by means of stone pillars, walls of burnt brick, 
party walls of rubble, towers ^ have been raised, 
and these being joined together by frequent 
board floors produce upper stories with fine views 
over the city to the utmost advantage. Therefore 
walls are raised to a great height through various 
stories, and the Roman people has excellent 
dwellings without hindrance. 

18. Now, therefore, the reason is explained why, 
because of the limited space in the city, they do not 
allow walls to be of sun-dried bricks. When it 
shall be necessary to use them, outside the city, 
such walls will be sound and durable after the 
following manner. At the top of the walls let 

^ These blocks of tenements were five and six stories high. 
Augustus limited the height to 70 feet. 



tegula subiciatur altitudine circiter sesquipedali 
habeatque proiecturas coronarum. Ita vitari poterunt 
quae solent in his fieri vitia ; cum enim in tecto 
tegulae fuerint fractae aut a ventis deiectae, qua 
possint ex imbribus aqua perpluere, non patietur 
lorica testacea lacdi laterem, sed proiectura corona- 
rum reiciet extra perpendiculum stillas et ea ratione 
servaverit integras parietum latericiorum structuras. 

19 De ipsa autem testa, si sit optima seu vitiosa ad 
structuram, statim nemo potest iudicare, quod in 
tempestatibus et aestate in tecto cum est conlocata, 
tunc, si est firma, probatur; namque quae non 
fuerit ex creta bona aut parum erit cocta, ibi se 
ostendit ^ esse vitiosam gelicidiis et pruina tacta. 
Ergo quae non in tectis poterit pati laborem, ea non 
potest in structura oneri ferendo esse firma. Quare 
maxime ex veteribus tegulis tecta structa ; parietes 
firmitatem poterunt habere. 

20 Craticii ^ vero velim quidem ne inventi essent ; 
quantum enim celeritate et loci laxamento prosunt, 
tanto maiori et communi sunt calamitati, quod ad 
incendia uti faces sunt parati. Itaque satius esse 
videtur inpensa testaceorum in sumptu, quam 
compendio craticiorum esse in periculo. Etiamque ^ 
in tectoriis operibus rimas in his faciunt arrec- 
tariorum et tranSversariorum dispositione. Cum 
enim linuntur, recipientes umorem turgescunt, 
deinde siccescendo* contrahuntur et ita extenuati 

* ostendet G : -dit //. - graticii H, 

* etiamque Schn : etiam qui H. * sicciscendo H. 

^ Wattlework, Innocent, English Building Construction, 
70, etc. 

2 Fires occurred at Rome frequently. A fire brigade, 
cohors vigilum, was established a.d. 6.- 



walling of burnt brick be put beneath the tiles, and 
let it have a projecting cornice. So the faults 
which usually happen here can be avoided. For 
when tiles in the roof are broken or thrown down by 
the wind (where rain-water could pass through from 
showers), the burnt brick shield will not allow the 
brickwork to be damaged; but the projection of 
the coi'nices will throw the drippings outside the 
facing line, and in that way will keep intact the 
structure of brick walls. 19. But whether the 
baked brick itself is very good or faulty for 
building, no one can judge its strength offhand, 
because only when it is laid as a coping is it tested 
by weathering and lapse of time. For brickwork 
that is not made of good clay or is too little baked 
shows its faults on the work when weathered by ice 
and hoar-frost. Therefore the brickwork which 
cannot stand the strain in the coping courses cannot 
be strong enough in the walling to carry loads. 
Wherefore the coping courses are specially built 
from old tiles, and the walls will be strong enough. 

20. I could wish that walls of wattlework ^ had 
not been invented. For however advantageous 
they are in speed of erection and for increase of 
space, to that extent are they a public misfortune, 
because they are like torches ready for kindling. ^ 
Therefore it seems better to be at greater expense 
by the cost of burnt brick than to be in danger by 
the convenience of wattlewoi-k walls : for these 
also make cracks in the plaster covering owing to 
the arrangement of the uprights and cross-pieces. 
For when the plaster is applied, they take up the 
moisture and swell, then when they dry they con- 
tract, and so they are rendered thin, and break the 



disrumpunt tectoriorum soliditatem. Sed quoniam 
nonnullos celeritas aut inopia aut in pendenti loco 
dissaeptio cogit, sic erit faciundum.^ Solum sub- 
struatur, ut sit intactum ab rudere et pavimento ; 
obruta enim in his cum sunt, vetustate marcida fiunt ; 
deinde subsidentia pi'oclinantur et disrumpunt 
speciem tectoriorum. 

De parietibus et apparitione generatim materiae 
eorum, quibus sint virtutibus et vitiis, quemadmodum 
potui, exposui ; de contignationibus autem et copiis 
earum, quibus conparentur, et ad vetustatem non 
sint infirmae, uti natura rerum monstrat, explicabo. 


Materies caedenda est a primo autumno ad id 
tempus, quod erit antequam flare incipiat favonius. 
Vere enim omnes arbores fiunt praegnates et omnes 
suae proprietatis virtutem efFerunt in frondem anni- 
versariosque fructus. Cum ergo inanes et umidae 
temporum necessitate ^ eorum fuerint, vanae fiunt 
et raritatibus inbecillae ; uti etiam corpora muliebria, 
cum conceperint, ad foetus a partu non iudicantur 
Integra, neque in venalibus ea, cum sunt praegnantia, 
praestantur sana, ideo quod in corpore praeseminatio 
crescens ex omnibus cibi potestatibus detrahit 
alimentum in se, et quo firmior eflScitur ad maturi- 
tatem partus, eo minus patitur esse solidum id ex 

* faciendum G. ^ necessitate rec : -tes H. 

^ The subject of this chapter is treated by Tlieophrastus, 
Hist. Plant. V. i. 


BOOK II. c. viii.-c. IX. 

solidity of the plaster. But since haste, or lack of 
means, or partitions made over an open space, 
sometimes require this construction, we must 
proceed as follows. Let the foundation be laid 
high up, so that it is untouched by the rough stones 
of the pavement ; for when they are fixed in these, 
they become rotten in time ; then they settle, 
and falling forward they break through the surface 
of the plaster. 

With respect to walls and the use of material 
after its kinds, I have explained their excellences 
and faults as I have been able. Now v/ith respect 
to floors and the material from which they are 
provided, so that they may not be weakened by 
lapse of time, I will explain as nature shows. 



1, Wood ^ is to be felled from the beginning of 
autumn to the time which comes before the blowing 
of the west wind. For in spring all trees become 
pregnant and discharge all the excellence of their 
own property into their foliage and yeai-ly fi'uit. 
When, therefore, they are rendered empty and 
moist in their season, they become void and weak 
by their open structure. Females also, when they 
have conceived offspring, are not adjudged sound 
until delivery ; and in the case of slaves, they are 
not guaranteed sound when they are pregnant, 
because the fertilisation as it spreads in the body 
draws nourishment to itself from the potencies of 
the food ; and the stronger the offspring is rendered 
for its ripening, the less solid does it allow that to be 

K 2 


quo ipsum procreatur. Itaque edito foetu, quod 
prius in aliud genus incrementi detrahebatur, 
cum a disparatione ^ procreationis est liberatum, 
inanibus et patentibus venis in se recipient. Lam- 
bendo sucum etiam solidescit et redit in pristinam 

2 naturae firmitatem. Eadem ratione autumnal! tem- 
pore maturitate fructuum flaccescente fronde, et 
terra recipientes radices arboi'um in se sucum 
reciperantur et restituuntur in antiquam soliditatem. 
At vero aeris hiberni vis conprimit et consolidat eas 
per id, ut supra scriptum est, tempus. Ergo si ea 
ratione et eo tempore, quod est supra scriptum, 

3 caeditur materies, erit tempestiva. Caedi autem 
ita oportet, uti incidatur arboris crassitudo ad med- 
iam medullam, et relinquatur, uti per earn ex- 
siccescat stillando sucus. Ita qui inest in his inutilis 
liquor effluens per torulum non patietur emori in eo 
saniem nee corrumpi ^ materiae aequalitatem. Turn 
autem, cum sicca et sine stillis erit arbor, deiciatur 

4 et ita erit optima in usu. Hoc autem ita esse licet 
animum advei'tere etiam de arbustis. Ea enim cum 
suo quoque tempore ad imum perforata castrantur, 
profundunt e meduUis quae habent in se superantem 
et vitiosum, per foramina liquorem, et ita siccescendo 
recipiunt in se diuturnitatem. Quae autem non 
habent ex arboribus exitus umoris, intra concrescentes 
putrescunt, et efficiunt inanes eas vitiosas. Ergo si 
stantes et vivae siccescendo non senescunt, sine 
dubio cum eae ^ ad materiam deiciuntur, cum ea 
ratione curatae fuerint, habere poterunt magnas 
in aedificiis ad vetustatem utilitates. 

* a disparatione PerrauU : ad disperatione H. 

2 necorrumpi H. 

^ eae (Bo) ad materiam Joe : eadem materiam H. 


BOOK II. c. IX. 

from which it is engendered. And so when the 
offspring is brought forth, what previously was 
withdrawn to another kind of growth, the body 
will receive into itself through the empty and 
open pores. By taking up juices it becomes solid, 
and returns to the strength of its former nature. 

2. Likewise in autumn the leaves wither when the 
fruits are ripe. The roots of the trees receive 
into themselves the sap from the earth, and are 
recovered and restored to their old solidity. But 
the power of the winter air compresses and con- 
solidates them through that time as is written above. 
Therefore if the wood is cut in the manner and at 
the time described above, it will be in season, 

3. Now it ought to be cut so that the thickness of 
the tree is cut to the middle of the pith, and left, 
that the sap may dry out by dripping. Thus the 
useless fluid which is in the veins flows out through 
the sapwood, and does not let the watery part die 
away in it, nor the quality of the wood to be cor- 
rupted. But when the tree is dry and does not 
drip, let it be cut down, and so it will be best in use. 

4. This, moreover, we can perceive about shrubs 
also. When they are bored through at the base 
in their proper season and pruned, they pour forth 
from the pith, through the openings, the excessive 
and diseased fluid which they contain ; and thus 
by drying they gain durability. But those trees 
which have no outlets of moisture, swell inside and 
rot, and are rendered hollow and diseased. There- 
fore, if by draining when they are standing and 
alive trees are saved from decay, doubtless when 
they are felled for timber, if they are treated in the 
same way, they will have great advantages in 
buildings for durability. 



5 Hae ^ autem inter se discrepantes et dissimiles 
habent virtutes, uti robur, ulmus, populus, cupressus, 
abies ceteraque, quae maxime in aedificiis sunt 
idonea. Namque non potest id robur quod abies, 
nee cupressus quod ulmus, nee cetera easdem habent 
inter se natura rerum similitates, sed singula genera 
principiorum proprietatibus conparata alios alii 

6 generis praestant in operibus efFectus. Et primum 
abies aeris habens plui-imum et ignis minimumque 
umoris et terreni, levioribus rerum naturae potestati- 
bus conparata non est ponderata.^ Itaque rigore 
naturali contenta non cito flectitur ab onere, sed 
directa permanet in contignatione. Sed ea, quod 
habet in se plus caloris, procreat et alit cariem ^ ab 
eaque vitiatur, etiamque ideo celeriter accenditur, 
quod quae inest in eo corpore aeris raritas et est 
patens, accipit ignem et ita vehementem ex se 

7 mittit flammam. Ex ea autem, antequam est excisa, 
quae pars est proxima terrae, per radices recipiens 
ex proximitate umorem enodis et liquida efficitur ; 
quae vero est superior, vehementia caloris eductis 
in aera per nodos ramis, praecisa alte circiter pedes 
XX et perdolata propter nodationis duritiem dicitur 
esse fusterna. Ima autem, cum excisa quadrifluviis 
disparatur, eiecto torulo ex eadem arbore ad intestina 
opera conparatur et ab infima fusterna ^ sappinea 

8 vocatur. Contra vero quercus terrenis principiorum 

1 hae G : ea H S. ^ ponderata //. 

^ cariem ed. Fl : partem H. 

* et ab iiifima fusterna Kr : et intima fusternea H. 

1 alii as gen. of alius is found in Cic. and Varro. 

2 The Baltic fir of to-day runs to about 35 feet without knots. 
5 The diameter is divided into four parts, and perpendiculars 

are set up ^ of the diameter from either end. These intersect 


BOOK II. c. IX. 

5. Now trees have virtues varying and unlike 
one with another; for example, oak, elm, poplar, 
cypress, fir, and the rest which are most suitable in 
buildings. For the oak has not the same power as 
the fir, nor the cypress as the elm, nor have the 
rest by nature the same resemblances one with 
another. But the several kinds furnished with the 
properties of their first principles provide in the 
work various ^ effects. 6. And first, the fir has 
most air and fire and least moisture and earth. 
Being thus furnished with the lighter powers of 
Nature, it is not weighed down. It is held together 
by a natural stiffness, and is not quickly bent by 
a load, but remains sti'aight in the flooring. But 
timber which has more heat generates and feeds 
decay and is diseased by it. Fir is also soon 
kindled because the rarefaction of the air which 
is present in this body, and is porous, receives the 
fire, and so sends forth a vehement flame. 7. Of 
the tree before it is cut down, the part which is 
nearest the earth receives the moisture from the 
neighbourhood through the roots and is rendered 
free from knots and moist. The upper part (since 
by the vehemence of the heat the branches are 
carried into the air through the knots) is cut off 
about twenty feet up.^ It is rough-axed and 
because of the hardness of the knotted portion is 
called " knotwood." The lowest portion, however, 
when it is cut and divided in four directions,^ and 
the sapwood ^ is rejected from the same tree, is 
used for inside work, and is called " deal." 8. 
The oak {quercus robur), on the other hand, abounds 

the circumference, and lines are drawn to both ends of the 
diameter so as to form a rectangle, Builder's Work, 137. 
* The sapwood is the outside ring of soft wood. 



satietatibus abundans parumque habens umoris 
et aeris et ignis, cum in terrenis operibus obruitur, 
infinitam habet aeternitatem. Ex eo cum tangitur 
umore, non habens foraminum raritates propter 
spissitatem non potest in corpus recipere liquorem, 
sed fugiens ab umore resistit et torquetur et efficit, 
9 in quibus est operibus, ea rimosa. Aesculus vero, 
quod est omnibus principiis temperata, habet in 
aedificiis magnas utilitates ; sed ea, cum in umore 
conlocatur, recipiens penitus per foramina liquorem 
eiecto acre et igni operatione umidae potestatis 
vitiatur. Cerrus quercus fagus, quod pariter habent 
mixtionem umoris et ignis et terreni, aeris phirimum, 
provisa ^ raritates umoris penitus recipiendo celeriter 
marcescunt. Populus alba et nigra, item salix, tilia 
vitex ignis et aeris habendo satietatem, umoi'is 
temperate, parum autem terreni habens - leviore 
temperatura comparata, egregiam habere videtur 
in usu rigiditatem. Ergo cum non sint dura terreni 
mixtione propter raritatem sunt Candida et in sculp- 
10 turis commodam praestant tractabilitatem. Alnus 
autem, quae proxima fluminum ripis procreatur et 
minime materies utilis videtur, habet in se egregias 
rationes. Etenim aere et igni plurimo temperata, non 
multum terreno, umore paulo. Itaque in palustribus ^ 

^ puisa H : provisa Gr. ^ habentes H : habens G. 

^ itaque in palustribus Schn. : itaque non minus habent 
in corpore umoris in plaustribus H. 

1 Oak lasts for indefinite periods when buried in the ground 
and is known as " bog oak." 

2 It is almost impossible to guarantee the best oak against 

^ Quercus sessiliflora, a variety of the preceding, was sacred 
to Jupiter and is tall. 


BOOK II. c. IX. 

in earthy saturations of the elements, and has 
Httle moisture and air and fire. When it is buried 
in foundations, it has unhmited duration.^ Hence, 
when it is touched by moisture, not having open 
pores, it cannot because of its density admit fluids 
into its substance, but, shrinking from moisture, 
it stands and is warped ^ and causes cracks in the 

9. But the winter oak (qtiercus aesculus^), 
because it is blended with all the elements, has 
great advantages in building. Yet when it is 
placed in water, it admits the fluid within, through 
the pores, and losing air and fire is damaged by the 
operation of the humid potency. The Turkey 
oak ^ and the beech, because they have a mixture 
of the humid, the fiery and the earthy, and an 
excess of air, being furnished with open pores, 
admit moisture and quickly decay. The white 
and black poplar, the willow also, the lime, the 
agnus castus,^ having the fire and air to saturation, 
the humid in moderation, too little of the earthy, 
are composed of a lighter mixture, and seem to 
have unusual fii'mness in use. Although, therefore, 
they are not hard owing to the mixture of the 
earthy, they are rendered white by their porous 
structui*e and are convenient to handle in the case 
of carving. 10. But the alder, which grows next 
the banks of rivers, and seems a useless timber, 
has nevertheless some remarkable applications. 
For it is blended with much air and fire, not much 
earth, little of the humid. And so frequently 

* The Turkey oak grows more quickly, but does not produce 
such good timber. 

^ A tall tree, like the willow. 


locis infra fundamenta aedificiorum palationibus 
crebre fixa,recipiens in se quod minus habet in corpore 
liquoris, permanet inmortalis ad aeternitatem et 
sustinet inmania pondera structurae et sine vitiis 
conservat. Ita quae ^ non potest extra terrara 
paulum tempus dm*are, ea in umore obruta per- 
il manet ad diuturnitatem. Est autem maximum id 
considerare Ravennae, quod ibi omnia opera et 
publica et privata sub fundamentis eius generis 
habeant palos. Ulmus vero et fraxinus maximos 
habent umoris minimumque aeris et ignis, terreni 
temperate mixtione comparatae. Sunt in operibus, 
cum fabricantur, lentae et ab pondere umoris non 
habent rigorem et celeriter pandant ; simul autem 
vetustate sunt aridae factae aut in agro perfecto qui 
est eis liquor stantes emoriuntur, fiunt duriores et in 
commissuris et coagmentationibus ab lentitudine 
12 firmas recipiunt catenationes. Item carpinus, quod 
est minima ignis et terreni mixtione, aeris autem et 
umoris summa continetur temperatura, non est 
fragilis, sed habet utilissimam tractabilitatem. 
Itaque Graeci, quod ex ea materia iuga iumentis 
conparant, quod apud eos iuga syga vocitantur, 
item zygian eam ^ appellant. Non minus est 
admirandum de cupresso et pinu, quod eae habentes 
umoris abundantiam aequamque ceterorum mix- 
tionem, propter umoris satietatem in operibus solent 
esse pandae, sed in vetustatem sine vitiis conservan- 
tur, quod is liquor, qui inest penitus in corporibus 
earum, habet amarum saporem qui propter acri- 

^ itaq, R {corr. Joe.) ' Zvyiav earn Joe : zigaeam //. 

^ In modern times usually replaced by concrete. 

~ The alternative name " yoke-elm " is parallel to the Greek 


BOOK II. c. IX. 

alder stakes, being fixed in marshy ground below 
the foundations of buildings, admit fluid because 
they have a less quantity in their substance. Hence 
they remain imperishable to eternity, uphold 
immense weights of walling, and preserve them 
without decaying. Thus a timber Avhich cannot 
endure even a short time above ground, when it is 
buried in moisture abides for long periods. 11. 
Now we can best consider this at Ravenna ; because 
there all works both public and private have piles ^ 
of this kind under their foundations. But the elm 
and the ash have an excess of moisture, very little 
air and fire, and are provided moderately wdth a 
mixture of the earthy. When they are wrought 
for buildings they are pliant, and, owing to the 
weight of moisture, they are without stiffness and 
quickly bend. In time, however, they become 
dried up, or the moisture which is in them being 
cast forth, they are allowed to die off, standing in 
the open. At the same time they become harder, 
and owing to their pliability they make good joints, 
both upright and horizontal. 12. The hornbeam ^ 
has a slight mixture of fire and earth, and is com- 
pounded with a full supply of air and moisture ; 
it is not fragile, but is most convenient to handle. 
And so the Greeks, because they prepare yokes for 
cattle from this wood, and because among them 
yokes are called zyga, also call it ^ygia- There is 
not less cause for wonder in the cypress and the 
pine. They have abundance of moisture, equal 
to the whole mixture of the rest. Because of their 
saturation with moisture, they usually warp in use, 
but they last for a long time without decay. For 
the moisture which is within the timber has a bitter 



tudinem non patitur penetrare cariem neque eas 
bestiolas quae sunt nocentes. Ideoque quae ex his 
generibus opera constituuntur, permanent ad aeter- 

13 nam diuturnitatem. Item eedrus et iuniperus easdem 
habent virtutes et utilitates ; sed quemadmodum 
ex cupressu et pinu resina, ex cedro oleum quod 
cedrium ^ dicitur, nascitur, quo reliquae res cum ^ 
sunt unctae, uti etiam libri, a tineis et carie non 
laeduntur. Arboris ^ autem eius sunt similes 
cupresseae foliaturae ; materies vena directa. 
Ephesi * in aede simulacrum Dianae ex ea,^ lacunaria 
et ibi et in ceteris nobilibus fanis propter aeterni- 
tatem sunt facta. Nascuntur autem eae arbores 
maxime Cretae et Africae et nonnuUis Syriae 

14 regionibus. Larix vero, qui non est notus nisi is 
municipalibus qui sunt circa ripam fluminis Padi 
et litora maris Hadriani, non solum ab suco vehementi 
amaritate ab carie aut tinea non nocetur, sed etiam 
flammam ex igni non recipit, nee ipse per se potest 
ardere, nisi uti saxum in fornace ad calcem coquen- 
dam aliis lignis uratur ; nee tamen tunc flammam 
recipit nee carbonem remittit, sed longo spatio 
tarde comburitur. Quod est minima ignis et aeris 
e principiis temperatura, umore autem et terreno 
est spisse solidata, non habet spatia foraminum, qua 
possit ignis penetrare, reicitque eius vim nee patitur 
ab eo sibi cito noceri, propterque pondus ab aqua 

1 cedrium Plin. 16, 52 : cldreum H. 

' corelique res cum H. * arboris Phil : -res //. 

* aephesi H. ^ ex ea Kr : etiam //. 

^ The paper received a yellow tinge. Papyrus began to be 
replaced at Rome by vellum at the end of the republic. 


BOOK II. c. IX. 

flavour. Because of its bitterness it prevents the 
entrance of decay and of those small creatures 
which are injurious. And so the works which are 
executed from these kinds of trees endure an 
unlimited time. 13. Cedar and juniper, also, have 
the same virtues and advantages. Just as resin 
comes from cypress and pine, so from cedar comes 
the oil which is called oil of cedar. When other 
things, as, for example, books, are soaked with 
this,^ they escape injury from worms and dry rot. 
The tree is like the cypress in foliage ; the wood is 
of a straight vein. In the temple at Ephesus, the 
image of Diana, the coffers of the ceiling also, are 
made of these trees ^ — as also in other famous 
temples — because of their durability. Now these 
trees are found especially in the regions of Crete 
and Africa and parts of Syria. 14. The larch is 
known only to the provincials on the banks of the 
river Po and the shores of the Adriatic Sea. Owing 
to the fierce bitterness of its sap, it is not injured by 
dryrot or theworm. Further, it does not admit flame 
from fire, nor can it burn of itself; only along with 
other timber it may burn stone in the kiln for 
making lime. Nor even then does it admit flame or 
produce charcoal, but is slowly consumed over a 
long interval. For there is the least admixture 
of fire and air, while the moist and the earthy 
principles are closely compressed. It has no open 
pores by which the fire can penetrate, and repels 
its force and prevents injury being quickly done to 
itself by fire. Because of its weight it is not sus- 

2 Cedar was largely used in Solomon's temple. Another 
authority affirms that the image of Diana was of ebony. 
Plin. iV.//. XVI. 213. 



non sustinetur, sed cum portatur, aut in navibus aut 
supra abiegnas rates conlocatur. 

15 Ea autem materies quemadmodum sit inventa, 
est causa cognoscere. Divus Caesar cum exercitum 
habuisset circa Alpes imperavissetque municipiis 
praestare commeatus, ibique esset castellum muni- 
tum, quod vocaretur Larignum, tunc, qui in eo 
fuerunt, naturali munitione confisi noluerunt imperio 
parere. Itaque imperator copias iussit admoveri. 
erat autem ante eius castelli portara turris ex hac 
materia alternis trabibus transversis uti pyra inter se 
composita alte, uti posset ^ de summo sudibus et 
lapidibus accedentes repellere. Tunc vero cum 
animadversum est alia eos tela praeter sudes non 
habere neque posse longius a muro propter pondus 
iaculari, imperatum est fasciculos ex virgis alligatos 
et faces ardentes ad eam munitionem accedentes 

16 mittere. Itaque celeriter milites congesserunt. Post- 
eaquam flamma circa illam materiam virgas compre- 
hendisset, ad caelum sublata ^ efficit opinionem, uti 
videretur iam tota moles concidisse. Cum autem 
ea per se extincta esset et re quieta turris intacta 
apparuisset, admirans Caesar iussit extra telorum 
missionem eos circumvallari. Itaque timore coacti 
oppidani cum se dedidissent, quaesitum, unde essent 
ea ligna quae ab igni non laederentur. Tunc ei 
demonstraverunt eas arbores, quai'um in his locis 
maximae suntcopiae. Et ideo id castellum Larignum, 
item materies larigna est appellata. Haec autem per 

^ possent Lor : posset H. * sublata G : -tarn H. 

^ This seems to have been based on direct observation. 
^ The provincial war tax, annona militaris, usually in kind. 


BOOK II. c. IX. 

tained by water ; but when it is carried, it is placed 
on board ship, or on pine rafts. 

15. We have reason to inquire how this timber 
was discovered.^ After the late emperor Caesar 
had bi'ought his forces into the neighbourhood of 
the Alps, and had commanded the municipalities 
to furnish supplies ,2 he found there a fortified 
stronghold which was called Larignum. But the 
occupants trusted to the natural strength of the 
place and refused obedience. The emperor there- 
fore commanded his forces to be brought up. 
Now before the gate of the stronghold there stood 
a tower of this wood with alternate cross-beams 
bound together like a funeral pyre, so that it 
could drive back an approaching enemy by stakes 
and stones from the top. But when it was per- 
ceived that they had no other weapons but stakes, 
and because of their weight they could not throw 
them far from the wall, the order was given to 
approach, and to throw bundles of twigs and 
burning torches against the fort. And the troops 
quickly heaped them up. 16, The flame seizing 
the twigs ai-ound the wood, rose skyward and 
made them think that the whole mass had collapsed. 
But when the fire had burnt itself out and subsided, 
and the tower appeared again intact, Caesar was 
surprised and ordered the town to be surrounded 
by a rampart outside the range of their weapons. 
And so the townspeople were compelled by fear to 
surrender. The inquiry was made where the timber 
came from which was unscathed by the fire. Then 
they showed him the trees, of which there is an 
abundant supply in these parts. The fort was called 
Larignum following the name of the larch wood. 



Padum Ravennam deportatur. In colonia Fanestri, 
Pisauri, Anconae reliquisque, quae sunt in ea 
regione, municipiis praebetur. Cuius materies si 
esset facultas adportationibus ad urbem, maximae 
haberentur in aedificiis utilitates, et si non in omne, 
certe tabulae in subgrundiis circum insulas si essent 
ex ea conlocatae, ab traiectionibus incendiorum 
aedificia periculo liberarentur, quod ea neque 
flammam nee carbonem possunt recipere nee focere 
17 perse. Sunt autem eae arbores foliis similibus pini ; 
materies earum prolixa, tractabilis ad intestinum 
opus non minus quam sappinea, habetque resinam 
liquidam mellis Attici colore, quae etiam medetur 

De singulis generibus, quibus proprietatibus e 
natura rerum videantur esse conparatae quibusque 
procreantur rationibus, exposui. Insequitur animad- 
versio, quid ita quae in urbe supernas dieitur abies, 
deterior est, quae infernas, egregios in aedificiis ad 
diutui-nitatem praestat usus, et de his rebus, quemad- 
modum videantur e locorum proprietatibus habere 
vitia aut virtutes, uti ea sint^ considerantibus aper- 
tiora, exponere.^ 


1 Montis Appennini primae radices ab Tyrrenico 
mari in Alpis et in extremas Etruriae regiones 
oriuntur. Eius vero montis iugum se circumagens 

^ ea (Kr) sint Joe : essent //. 
^ exponere Ro : exponerem H. 

^ Probably floated down the stream on rafts of pine. 

* Coupled with Pisaurum, Wilmann's Inscr. Lat. 1215, and 
Ancona, op. cit. 674. 

BOOK II. c. ix.-c. X. 

Now this is brought down the Po to Ravenna ^ ; 
there are also suppUes at the Colony ^ of Fanum, at 
Pisaurum and Ancona and the municipia in that 
region. And if there were a provision for bringing 
this timber to Rome, there would be great advan- 
tages in building ; and if such wood were used, not 
perhaps generally, but in the eaves round the 
building blocks, these buildings would be freed from 
the danger of fires spreading. For this timber can 
neither catch fire nor turn to charcoal, nor burn of 
itself, 17. Now these trees have leaves like those 
of the pine, the timber is tall, and for joinery 
work not less handy than deal. It has a liquid 
resin coloured like Attic honey. This is a cure for 
phthisical persons. 

Concerning the several kinds of trees, I have set 
forth the properties of which they seem to be 
naturally composed, and the manner in which they 
come to grow. The inquiry follows why the pine 
called Highland in Rome is inferior, whereas the 
so-called Lowland pine furnishes striking advantages 
for durability in buildings. On this topic I will 
set forth how they seem to acquire defects or 
excellences from the properties of their localities, 
so that they may be more obvious to the inquirer. 



1. The first roots of the Apennines rise from the 
Tyrrhenian sea towards the Alps ^ and the borders 
of Etruria. But the ridge of the range bends 

' The Maritime Alps. 

VOL. I. L 


et media curvatura prope tangens oras maris 
Hadriani pertingit circumitionibus contra fretum. 
Itaque citerior eius curvatura quae vergit ad 
Etruriae Campaniaeque regiones, apricis est potes- 
tatibus ; namque impetus habet perpetuos ad 
solis cursum. Ulterior autem, quae est proclinata 
ad superum mare, septentrionali regioni subiecta 
continetur umbrosis et opacis perpetuitatibus. Ita- 
que quae in ea parte nascuntur arbores, umida 
potestate nutritae non solum ipsae augentur am- 
plissimis magnitudinibus, sed earum quoque venae 
umoris copia repletae urgentis ^ liquoris abundantia 
saturantur. Cum autem excisae et dolatae vitalem 
potestatem amiserunt, venarum rigore permanente 
siccescendo propter raritat em fiuntinanes et evanidae, 
ideoque in aedificiis non possunt habere diuturnita- 

2 tem. Quae autem ad solis cursum spectantibus 
locis procreantur, non habentes interveniorum ^ 
raritates siccitatibus exsuctae solidantur, quia sol 
non modo ex terra lambendo sed etiam ex arboribus 
educit umores. Itaque, sunt in apricis regionibus, 
spissis venarum crebritatibus solidatae non habentes 
ex umore raritatem ; quae, cum in materiem 
perdolantur, reddunt magnas utilitates ad vetu- 
statem. Ideo infernates, quod ex apricis locis 
adportantur, meliores sunt, quam quae ab opacis 
de supernatibus advehuntur. 

3 Quantum animo considerare potui, de copiis quae 
sunt necessariae in aedificiorum conparationibus, 

1 turgentes rec : urgentes H. 

2 interveniorum Joe : inter venarum H. 

BOOK II. c. X. 

round and in the middle of the curve ahnost touches 
the shores of the Adriatic. In its circuit it reaches 
the opposite straits.^ The nearer slope, which 
turns to the regions of Etruria and Campania, has 
a sunny aspect. For it has an unbroken direction 
towards the sun's course. But the further slope, 
which inclines to the Adriatic, lies towards the 
northei'n quarter, and is bounded by unbroken 
tracts of land overshadowed and gloomy. And so 
the trees which grow in that part absorb a humid 
element. Not only do they grow to an immense 
size, but their pores, being filled with a supply of 
moisture, are saturated with an abundance of 
pressing fluid. But when they are cut down and 
axed they lose their vital force : remaining with the 
pores stiff and open, they dry, become hollow and 
perishable, and so cannot last in buildings. 2. 
But those which grow in places facing the sun's 
course, lacking the open spaces of the pores, are 
drained by dryness and solidified. For the sun 
licks up and draws moisture not only from the 
ground but also from trees. And so the trees in 
sunny regions are solidified by the closeness of their 
pores, and are free from the attenuation which is 
caused by moisture. When they are hewn into 
timber they furnish great advantages for dui'ability. 
Therefore the lowland pine because it is brought 
from sunny districts is better than that which is 
brought from sunless districts in the highlands. 

3. As far as I have been able to consider them in 
my mind I have set forth the supplies which are 
necessary in the erection of buildings, the natural 

1 The Apennines go from north to south almost to 




et quibus temperaturis e rerum natura principiorum 
habere videantur mixtionem quaeque insunt in 
singulis generibus virtutes et vitia, uti non sint 
ignota aedificantibus, exposui. Ita, qui potuerint 
eorum praeceptorum sequi praescriptiones, erunt 
prudentiores singulorumque generum usum eligere 
poterunt in operibus. Ergo quoniam de appari- 
tionibus est explicatum, in ceteris voluminibus de 
ipsis aedificiis exponitur ; et primum de deorum 
inmortalium aedibus sacris et de earum symmetriis 
et proportionibus, uti ordo postulat, insequenti 


BOOK II. c. X. 

combinations by which they seem to have their 
elements mixed, the excellences and defects which 
are present in their several kinds, so that they may 
not be unknown to persons engaged in building. 
Thus, if anyone can follow out the instructions laid 
down, he will be wiser and more able in his work 
to choose the use of the several kinds of material. 
Since then we have explained the modes of pre- 
paration, in the remaining books we set forth the 
kinds of building. And first, as order demands, 
I will describe in the following book the temples 
of the immortal gods, their symmetries and 




1 Delphicus Apollo Socratem omnium sapientis- 
simum Pythiae responsis est professus. Is autem 
memoratur prudenter doctissimeque dixisse, opor- 
tuisse hominum pectora fenestrata et aperta esse, 
uti non occultos haberent sensus sed patentes ad 
eonsiderandum. Utinam vero rerum natura sen- 
tentiam eius secuta explieata et apparentia ea consti- 
tuisset ! Si enim ita fuisset, non solum laudes aut 
vitia animorum ad manum aspicerentur, sed etiam 
disciplinarum scientiae sub oeulorum consideratione 
subieetae non incertis iudiciis probarentur, sed et 
doctis et seientibus auetoritas egregia et stabilis 
adderetur. Igitur quoniam haec non ita, sed uti 
natura rerum voluit, sunt constituta, non efficitur ut 
possint homines obscuratis sub pectoribus ingeniis 
scientias artificioruxn penitus latentes, quemadmodum 
sint, iudieare. Ipsique artifices pollicerentur suam 
prudentiam, si non peeunia sint eopiosi sed vetustate 
offieinarum habuerint notitiam ; aut etiam gratia 
forensi et eloquentia cum fuerint parati, pro industria 
studiorum auctoritates possunt habere, ut eis, quod 

2 profitentur scire, id crederetur. Maxiine autem id 
animadvertere possumus ab antiquis statuariis et 
pictoribus, quod ex his, qui dignitates notas et 

^ The Greeks used technites, the Romans artifez, for all 
handworkers whether artists or artisans. 



1. Delphic Apollo, by the replies of the Pythian 
priestess, declared Socrates the wisest of all men. 
He is recorded to have said with wisdom and great 
learning that the hearts of men ought to have had 
open windows so that they might not keep their 
notions hidden, but open for inspection. Would 
that Nature had followed his opinion, and made them 
explicit and manifest ! For if it had been so, not 
only would the merits or defects of human minds be 
seen at once, but the knowledge of disciplines also, 
lying under the view of the eyes, would be tested 
by no uncertain judgments; and a distinguished 
and lasting authority would be added both to 
learned and to accomplished men. Therefore 
since these things have been ordained otherwise, 
and as Nature willed, it is impossible for other men, 
when talent is concealed in the breast, to judge 
how such deeply hidden knowledge of the arts 
really stands. Yet those craftsmen ^ themselves 
would offer their skill who while they lack wealth 
yet have the knowledge based on woi'kshop ex- 
perience ; or indeed when they are equipped with 
the graceful eloquence of the pleader, they can 
gain the authority corresponding to their industry, 
and have the credit of knowing what they profess. 
2. Now we can best observe this in the case of 
ancient statuaries and painters ; for of these, those 
who have a recognised dignity and the influence 



commendationis gratiani habuerunt, aeterna niemoria 
ad posteritatem sunt permanentes, uti Myron, 
Polycletus, Phidias, Lysippus ceterique, qui nobili- 
tatem ex arte sunt consecuti. Namque ut civitatibus 
magnis aut regibus aut civibus nobilibus opera 
fecerunt, ita id sunt adepti. At qui non minori ^ studio 
et ingenio sollertiaque fuerunt nobilibus et humili for- 
tune civibus non minus egregie perfecta fecerunt opera, 
nullam memoriam sunt adsecuti, quod hi non ab 
industria neque artis sollertia sed a Fehcitate fuerunt 
decepti,^ ut Hegias ^ Atheniensis, Chion Corinthius, 
Myagrus Phocaeus, Pharax Ephesius, Boedas Byzan- 
tius etiamque alii plures. Non minus item, pictores, 
uti Aristomenes Thasius, Polycles et Androcydes ^ 
<^Cyzice)^ni, Theo Magnes ^ ceterisque, quos neque 
industria neque artis studium neque sollertia defecit, 
sed aut rei familiaris exiguitas aut inbecillitas 
fortunae seu in ambitione certationis contrariorum 
3 superatis ^ obstitit eorum dignitati. Nee tamen est 
admirandum, si propter ignotitiam artis virtutes 
obscurantur, sed maxime indignandum, cum etiam 
saepe blandiatur gratia conviviorum a veris iudiciis 
ad falsam probationem. Ergo, uti Socrati placuit, si 

^ minori H. ^ decepti e^ : desepti H. 

3 Hegias Ko (cf. Plin. 34, 49 tl 78) : hellas H. 

* Androcydes Kr (cf. Plin. 35, 64) : andramithes H. 
5 Cyziceni Kr (cf. Pint. Pelop. 25) : ni H. 

* Magnes 3Iar : magnis H. 

' superatis Joe : superati £1. 

1 Book I. i. 13. 

^ The sculptor of the Parthenon : the work was carried out 
under his general direction. He was the actual sculptor of 
the Images of Athena at Athens, and of Jupiter (Zeus) at 


BOOK III. Preface 

based on commendation abide to after times in an 
everlasting remembrance : Myron,i Polyclitus,'^ 
Phidias,^ Lysippus ^ and others who from their art 
have attained renown. For they got it by working 
for great states or kings or famous citizens. But 
those who had not less eagerness, and were dis- 
tinguished by talent and skill, but being of humble 
fortune executed for their fellow-citizens works not 
less perfect, gained no reputation. For they Avere 
left behind not in perseverance or in skill but by 
Good Fortune : for example, Hegias * of Athens, 
Chion of Corinth, Myagrus the Phocean,^ Pharax of 
Ephesus, Boedas of Byzantium ^ and many others 
also ; painters also not less, such as Aristomenes 
the Thasian, Polycles and Androcydes ' of Cyzicus, 
Theo ^ the Magnesian, and others to whom neither 
industry nor craftsman's zeal nor skill was lacking ; 
but their reputation was hindered, either by scanty 
possessions, or poor fortune, or the victory of rivals 
in competitions. 3. Yet we must not be surprised 
if excellence is in obscurity through the public 
ignorance of craftsmanship. But we ought to be 
specially indignant when also, as often happens, 
social influence beguiles men from exact judgments 
to a feigned approval. Therefore, as Socrates 

^ The sculptor of the Apoxyomenus, represented by the 
Vatican copy. 

* Rival of Phidias. His "Horse-riders" was a famous 

5 Carved athletes, Plin. N.H. XXXIV. 91. 

« Pupil of Lysippus, Plin. N.H. XXXIV. 66, carved figure 
praying, ib. 73. 

' Contemporary and rival of Zeuxis, Plin. N.H. XXXV. 

8 Painted the madness of Orestes, Plin. N.H. XXXV. 144. 


ita sensus et sententiae scientiaeque diseiplinis auetae 
perspicuae et perlucidae fuissent, non gratia neque 
ambitio valeret, sed si qui veris certisque laboribus 
doctrinarum pervenissent ad scientiam summam, eis 
ultro opera traderentur. Quoniam autem ea non 
sunt inlustria neque apparentia in aspectu, ut putamus 
oportuisse, et animadverto potius indoctos quam 
doctos gratia superare, non esse certandum iudicans 
cum indoctis ambitione, potius his praeceptis editis 
ostendam nostrae scientiae virtutem. 
4 Itaque, imperator, in primo volumine tibi de arte et 
quas habeat ea virtutes quibusque diseiplinis oporteat 
esse auctum architectum, exposui et subieci causas, 
quid ita earum oporteat eum esse pentum,rationesque 
summae architecturae partitione distribui finitioni- 
busque terminavi. Deinde, quod erat primuni et 
necessarium, de moenibus, quemadmodum eligantur 
loci ^ salubres, ratiocinationibus explicui, ventique 
qui sint et e quibus <(regionibus) ^ singuli spirant, 
deformationibus grammicis ^ ostendi, platearumque et 
vicorum uti emendate fiant distributiones in moeni- 
bus, docui et ita finitionem primo volumine constitui. 
Item in secundo de materia, quas habeat in operibus 
utilitates et quibus virtutibus e natura rerum est com- 
parata, peregi. Nunc in tertio de deorum inmor- 
talium aedibus sacris dicam et, uti oporteat, per- 
scriptas exponam. 

' loci rec : locis H. '^ add. Joe. 

^ grammicis Joe : grammaticis H. 


BOOK III. Preface 

thought, if human notions and opinions and know- 
ledge increased by study were manifest and 
transparent, neither influence nor intrigue would 
avail ; but commissions would be entrusted to such 
persons as had attained the highest knowledge by 
their genuine and assured professional labour. 
Since, however, these things are not conspicuous 
nor apparent to the sight, as we think they ought to 
have been, and I perceive the ignorant excel in 
influence rather than the learned, I judge that we 
must not rival the ignorant in their intrigues ; but 
I will rather display the excellence of our knowledge 
by the publication of these rules. 

4. Therefore, your Highness, in the first book, I 
set before you our craft and its excellences and the 
studies by which the architect should improve 
himself; I furnished the reasons why he ought to 
be skilled in them ; I analysed the methods of 
architecture generally, and assigned their limits by 
my definitions. Then, as matter of prime necessity, 
I explained by argument with reference to walled 
cities, how healthy sites are chosen and showed by 
geometrical figures the various winds, and the 
quartei's from which they severally blow. I taught 
the way to distribute in an accurate manner the 
main and side streets within the walls, and so 
completed my first book. In the second book I 
dealt with the employment of materials in building 
and with the excellences which they naturally 
possess. Now in the thii-d book I will speak of the 
temples of the Gods and will set them out in detail 
in a proper manner. 




1 Aedium compositio constat ex symmetria, cuius 
rationem diligentissime architecti tenere ^ debent. 
Ea autem paritur a ^ proper tione, quae graece 
analogia dicitur. Proportio est ratae partis mem- 
brorum in omni opere totiusque ^ commodulatio, 
ex qua ratio efficitur symmetriarum. Namque non 
potest aedis uUa sine symmetria atque proportione 
rationem habere compositionis, nisi uti ad hominis 
bene figurati membrorum habuerit exactam rationem. 

2 Corpus enim hominis ita natura composuit, uti os 
capitis a mento ad frontem summam et radices imas 
capilH esset decimae partis, item manus palma ab 
articulo ad extremum medium digitum tantundem, 
caput a mento ad summum verticem oetavae,^ cum 
cervicibus imis ab summo pectore ad imas radices 
capillorum sextae, <(a medio pectore) ^ ad summum 
verticem quartae. Ipsius autem oi'is altitudinis 
tertia est pars ab imo mento ad imas nares, nasum 
ab imis naribus ad finem medium supereiHorum 
tantundem, ab ea fine ad imas radices capilU ^ frons 
efficitur item tertiae partis. Pes vero altitudinis 
corporis sextae,'^ cubitum quartae, pectus item 
quartae. Rehqua quoque membra suas ^ habent 
commensus proportiones, quibus etiam antiqui 

^ teneri H. ^ paritur a rec : paritura pr. H. 

^ totiusque Joe : totaque H. * octae H. 

^ add. Gal. * capillis H. 

' extae H. * suas Lor : suos H. 

^ The Greek and Roman artists treated the human body as 
the standard of beauty. The statement in the fourth Gospel 
ii. 21 refers to the body as the abode of the Spirit. 

BOOK III. c. r. 


1. The planning of temples depends upon sym- 
metry : and the method of this ^ architects must 
diligently apprehend. It arises from proportion 
(which in Greek is called analogia). Proportion 
consists in taking a fixed module, in each case, both 
for the parts of a building and for the whole, by 
which the method of symmetry is put into pi-actice 
For without symmetry and proportion no temple 
can have a regular plan; that is, it must have an 
exact proportion worked out after the fashion of the 
members of a finely-shaped human body.^ 2. For 
Nature ^ has so planned the human body that the 
face from the chin to the top of the forehead and 
the roots of the hair is a tenth part ; also the palm 
of the hand from the wrist to the top of the middle 
finger is as much ; the head from the chin to the 
crown, an eighth part ; from the top of the breast 
with the bottom of the neck to the roots of the hair, 
a sixth part ; from the middle of the breast to the 
crown, a fourth part ; a third part of the height of 
the face is from the bottom of the chin to the bottom 
of the nostrils ; the nose from the bottom of the 
nostrils to the line between the brows, as much; 
from that line to the roots of the hair, the forehead 
is given as the third part. The foot is a sixth of the 
height of the body ; the cubit a quarter, the breast 
also a quarter. The other limbs also have their 
own proportionate measurements. And by using 

^ Here the intention of Nature is thought to appear in a ^ 
type or canon that of Polyclitus, or, later, of Lysippus. c 


pictores et statuarii nobiles usi magnas et infinitas 

3 laudes sunt adsecuti. Similiter vero sacrarum aedium 
membra ad universam totius magnitudinis summam 
ex partibus singulis convenientissimum debent habere 
commensus responsum. Item corpoi'is centrum me- 
dium naturaliter est umbilicus. Namque si homo 
conlocatus fuerit supinus ^ manibus et pedibus pansis 
circinique conlocatum centrum in umbilico eius, 
circumagendo rotundationem utrarumque manuum 
et pedum digiti linea tangentur. Non minus 
quemadmodum schema ^ rotundationis in corpore 
efficitur, item quadrata designatio in eo invenietur. 
Nam si a pedibus imis ad summum caput mensum 
erit eaque mensura relata fuerit ad manus pansas,^ 
invenietur eadem latitudo uti altitudo, quemad- 
modum areae quae ad normam sunt quadratae. 

4 Ergo si ita natura conposuit corpus hominis, uti 
proportionibus membra ad summam figurationem 
eius respondeant, cum causa constituisse videntur 
antiqui, ut etiam in operum perfectionibus singulorum 
membrorum ad universam figurae speciem habeant 
commensus exactionem. Igitur cum in omnibus 
operibus ordines traderent, maxime in aedibus 
deoriun, operum et laudes et culpae aeteraae solent 

5 Nee minus mensurarum rationes, quae in omnibus 
operibus videntur necessariae * esse, ex corporis 
membris collegerunt, uti digitum, palmum, pedem, 
cubitum, et eas distribuerunt in perfectum numerum, 
quem Graeci teleon dicunt. Perfectum autem antiqui 

1 sopinus H. ^ scaema H. 

^ spansas H. * necessaria H. 

^ The explanation of the orders by reference to the pro- 
portions of the human body follows : Book IV. i. 

BOOK III. c. I. 

these, ancient painters and famous sculptors have 
attained great and unbounded distinction. 3. In'^ 
like fashion the members of temples ought to have 
dimensions of their several parts answering suitably 
to the general sum of their whole magnitude. Now 
the navel is naturally the exact centre of the body. 
For if a man lies on his back with hands and feet 
outspread, and the centre of a circle is placed on 
his navel, his figure and toes will be touched by the 
circumference. Also a square will be found de- 
scribed within the figure, in the same way as a 
round figure is produced. For if we measure from 
the sole of the foot to the top of the head, and apply 
the measure to the outstretched hands, the breadth 
will be found equal to the height, just like sites 
which are squared by rule. 4. Therefore if Nature 
has planned the human body so that the members 
correspond in their proportions to its complete 
configuration, the ancients seem to have had reason 
in determining that in the execution of their works 
they should observe an exact adjustment of the 
several members to the general pattern of the plan. 
Therefore, since in all their works they handed down" 
orders,^ they did so especially in building temples, 
the excellences and the faults of which usually 
endure for ages, 

5. Moreover, they collected from the members 
of the human body the proportionate dimensions 
which appear necessary in all building operations ; 
the finger or inch, the palm, the foot, the cubit. 
And these they grouped into the perfect number ^ 
which the Greeks call teleon.^ Now the ancients 

2 Plato's Republic, 546. 

^ Teleon is a better spelling than teleion and is found in H. 

VOL. I. M 


instituerunt numerum qui decern dicitur ; namque 
ex manibus digitorum numerum ; ab palmo pes est 
inventus. Si autem in utrisque palmis ex articulis 
ab natura decem sunt perfecti, etiam Platoni placuit 
esse eum numerum ea re perfectum, quod ex singu- 
laribus rebus, quae monades apud Graecos dicuntur, 
perficitur decusis.^ Qui simul autem undecim aut 
duodecim sunt facti, quod superaverint, non possunt 
esse perfecti, donee ad alterum decusis perveniant; 
singulares enim res particulae sunt eius numeri, 

6 Mathematici vero contra disputantes ea re perfectum 
dixerunt esse numerum qui sex dicitur, quod is 
numerus habet partitiones eorum rationibus sex 
numero convenientes sic : sextantem unum, trientes 
duo,2 semissem tria, besem quem dimoeroii dicunt 
quattuor, quintarium quem peniemoeron dicunt 
quinque, perfectum sex. Cum ad supplicationem ^ 
crescat, supra sex adieeto asse ephectum ; cum facta 
sunt octo, quod est tertia adiecta, tertiarium alterum,^ 
qui epitritos dicitur ; dimidia adiecta cum facta sunt 
novem,sesquialterum,qui hemioUus appellatur ; duabus 
partibus additis et decusis facto bes alterum, quem 
epidimoerum vocitant ; in undecim numero quod 
adiecti sunt quinque, quintarium, quem epipempton 
dicunt; duodecim autem, quod ex duobus numeris 

7 simplicibus est effectus, diplasioiia. Non minus 
etiam, quod pes hominis altitudinis sextam habet 

1 decusisq H. ^ (trientem) duo Joe : trientes duos //. 
^ supplicationem H = vTTonXfKeiv (subnecteie). 
* alterum Mar : autem H. 

* The mathematical notion of " elegance " is here seen in 
an early form. The Pythagoreans distinguished betweert 
the " esoteric " mathematics of elegance, and the " exoteric " 


BOOK III. c. I. 

determined as perfect the number which is called 
ten.i For from the hands they took the number of 
the inches ; from the palm, the foot was discovered. 
Now while in the two palms with their fingers, ten 
inches are naturally complete, Plato considered 
that number perfect, for the reason that from the 
individual things which are called monades among 
the Greeks, the decad ^ is perfected. But as soon 
as they are made eleven or twelve, because they 
are in excess, they cannot be perfect until they reach 
the second decad. For individual things are minor 
parts of that number. 6. But mathematicians, 
disputing on the other side, have said that the 
number called six ^ is perfect for the reason that 
this number has divisions which agree by their 
proportions with the number six. Thus a sixth is 
one ; a third is two ; a half is three ; two-thirds, 
which they call dimoeros, four ; five-sixths, which 
they call pentemoeros, five ; the perfect number, six. 
When it grows to the double, a twelfth added above 
six makes ephectos ; when eight is reached, because 
a third is added, there is a second third, which is 
called epitritos ; when half is added and there are 
nine, there is half as much again, and it is called 
hemiolios ; when two parts are added and a decad 
is made, we have the second two-thirds, which they 
call epidimoeros : in the number eleven, because five 
are added, we have five-sixths, which they call 
epipemptos ; twelve, because it is produced from 
two simple numbers, they call diplasios. 7. Not 
less also because the foot has the sixth part of a 

or applied mathematics of daily practice. They regarded 
10 as the perfect number. 

2 10 = 1-1-2+3+4. Plato follows the Pythagoreans. 
^ On perfection of number 6, Aug. Civ. Dei, XL 30. 

M 2 


partem, (ita etiam, ex eo quod perficitur pedum 
numiero, corporis sexies ^ altitudinis terminavit) eum 
perfectum constituerunt, cubitumque animadver- 
terunt ex sex palmis constare digitisque xxiiii. Ex 
eo etiam videntur civitates Graecorum fecisse, 
quemadmodum cubitus est sex palmorum, in drach- 
ma qua nummo ^ uterentur, aereos signatos uti asses 
ex aequo ^ sex, quos obolos appellant, quadrantesque 
obolorum, quae alii dichalca, nonnuUi trichalca dicunt, 
pro digitis viginti quattuor in drachma constituisse. 

8 Nostri autem primo fecerunt antiquum numerum et 
in denario denos aeris constituerunt, et ea re con- 
positio nominis ad hodiernum diem denarium retinet. 
Etiamque quarta pars quod efficiebatur ex duobus 
assibus et tertio semisse, sestertium vocitaverunt. 
Postea quam animadverterunt utrosque numeros 
esse perfectos, et sex et decem, utrosque in unum 
coiecerunt et fecerunt perfectissimum decusis sexis. 
Huius autem rei auctorem invenerunt pedem. E 
cubito enim cum dempti sunt palmi duo, relinquitur 
pes quattuor palmorum, palmus autem habet quat- 
tuor digitos. Ita efficitur, ut habeat pes sedecim 
digitos et totidem asses aeracius denarius. 

9 Ergo si convenit ex articulis hominis numerum 
inventum esse et ex membris separatis ad universam 
corporis speciem ratae partis ^ commensus fieri 
responsum, relinquitur, ut suseipiamus eos,qui etiam 

1 seies H. ^ num(m)o Schn : numero H. 

* ex aequo Joe : ex quo //. * partes H. 

1 The as was a Roman bronze coin successively reduced 
from 1 lb. (12 oz.) to 4 oz., 2 oz., 1 oz. and i oz. The reductions 
took place at financial crises probably in 268 B.C. after war 
with Pyrrhus, 242 B.C. end of 1st Punic war, 217 beginning of 
2nd Punic war, 89 in Social war. The Lex Valeria of 86 B.C. 


BOOK III. c. I. 

man's height, and also because six times, that is 
the number six, in that it is completed by the 
number of feet, determined the height of the body, 
they fixed that number as perfect, observing that 
the cubit consists of six palms and twenty-four 
fingers. Hence also the cities of the Greeks seem 
to have made in a like fashion (just as the cubit 
is of six palms) six parts of the drachma, the coin 
which they use, stamped bronze coins like asses ^ 
which they call ohols ; and to have fixed twenty- 
four quarter obols, called by some dichalca, by others 
trichalca to correspond to the fingers. 8. We, 
however, at first followed the ancient number, and 
in the denarius fixed ten bronze coins ; whence to 
this day the derived name keeps the number ten 
(denarius). And also because the fourth part was 
made up of two asses and a half, they called it 
sestertius.'^ But afterwards they perceived that 
both numbers were perfect, both the six and the 
ten ; and they threw both together, and made the 
most perfect number sixteen. Now of this they 
found the origin in the foot. For when two palms 
are taken from the cubit, there is left a foot of four 
palms, and the palm has four fingers. So it comes 
that the foot has sixteen fingers, and the bronze 
denarius as many asses. 

9. Therefore, if it is agreed that number is found 
from the articulation of the body, and that there is 
a correspondence of the fixed ratio of the separate 
members to the general form of the body, it remains 
that we take up those writers who in planning the 

allowed debtors to take advantage of the last reduction so 
that they only had to pay one-fourth of their debts. 
^ i.e. semis tertius. 



aedes deorum iiimortalium constituentes ita membra 
operum ordinaverunt, lit proportionibus et sym- 
metriis separatae atque universae convenientesque 
efficerentur eorum distributiones. 


1 Aedium autem principia sunt, e quibus constat 
figurarum jispectus ; et primum in antis, quod 
graece naos en parasfasi?i dicitur, deinde prostylos, 
amphiprostylos, peripteros, pseudodipteros, hypae- 
thros.i Horum exprimuntur formationes his rationi- 

2 bus.^ In antis erit aedes, cum habebit in fronte antas 
parietum qui cellam eireumcludunt, et inter antas 
in medio columnas duas supraque fastigium symmetria 
ea conlocatum, quae in hoc hbro fuerit perscripta. 
Huius autem exemplar erit ad tres Fortunas ex tribus 

3 quod est proxime portam ColHnam. Prostylos omnia 
habet quemadmodum in antis, columnas autem 
contra antas angulares duas supraque epistylia, 
quemadmodum et in antis, et dextra ac sinistra in 
versuris singula. Huius exemplar est in insula 

4 Tiberina in aede lovis et Fauni. Amphiprostylos 
omnia habet ea, quae prostylos, praetereaque habet 
in postico ad eundem modum columnas et fastigium. 

^ hypetros H 

2 post rationibus in H quemadmodum et . . . exemplar, 
del. Joe. 

1 " Temple in pilasters." ^ " With columns in front." 
^ " With columns on both fronts." 
■• " With columns all round." 

1 66 

BOOK III. c. i.-c. II. 

temples of the immortal gods so ordained the parts 
of the work that, by the help of proportion and 
symmetry, their several and general distribution is 
rendered congruous. 



1. It is from the plan of a temple that the effect 
of its design arises. And first in antis, which in 
Greek is called Jiaos en parastasin ^ ; next, prostyle,^ 
amphiprostyle,^ peripteral,^ pseudodipteral,^ hypae- 
thral.^ The designs of these are formulated in the 
following manner. 2. A temple will be in antis 
when it has in front, pilasters terminating the walls 
which enclose the shrine, and in the middle, between 
the pilasters, two columns, and above, a gable, 
built with the symmetry to be set forth in this 
book. An example of this will be the Temple of 
Fortune, nearest of the three to the Colline Gate "^ 
3. The prostyle has everything like the temple in 
antis, except two angle columns over against the 
pilasters ; and above, entablatures as in antis 
which return at the angles on either side. An 
example of this is on the island in the Tiber, namely, 
the Temple of Jupiter and Faunus.^ 4. The 
amphiprostyle has everything like the prostyle, and 
besides has columns and a pediment at the back. 

^ " With columns all round set at a distance from the 
temple walls." 

^ " With interior open to the sky." 

' Lanciani, R.E. 421 ; Platner, 216. 

8 Ovid, Fasti. I. 293. Liv. XXXIII. 42; XXXIV. 53; 
XXXV. 41. Platner, 205. 



5 Peripteros autem erit, quae habebit in fronte et 
postico senas columnas, in lateribus cum angularibus 
undenas. Ita autem sint hae columnae conlocatae, 
ut intercolumnii latitudinis intervallum sit a parie- 
tibus circum ad extremes ordines columnarum, 
habeatque ambulationem circa cellam aedis, quem- 
admodum est in porticu Metelli lovis Statoris 
Hermodori ^ et ad Mariana Honoris et Virtutis sine 

6 postico a Mucio facta. Pseudodipteros autem sic 
conlocatur, ut in fronte et postico sint columnae 
octonae, in latei'ibus cum angularibus quinae denae. 
Sint autem parietes celiac contra quaternas columnas 
medianas in fronte et postico. Ita duorum inter- 
columniorum et unae crassitudinis columnae spatium 
erit ab parietibus ^ circa ad extremos ordines colum- 
narum. Huius exemplar Romae non est, sed Mag- 
nesiae Dianae Hermogenis Alabandei et Apollinis 

7 a Menesthe facta. Dipteros autem octastylos et 
pronao et postico, sed circa aedem duplices habet 
ordines columnarum, uti est aedis Quirini dorica et 
Ephesi Dianae ionica a Chersiphrone constituta. 

8 Hypaethros vero decastylos est in pronao et postico. 
Reliqua omnia eadem habet quae dipteros, sed interi- 
ore parte columnas in altitudine duplices, remotas a 
parietibus ad circumitionem ut porticus peristy- 

^ Hermodori Tiirnehus : hermodi H. 
2 ab par. G : appar. H. 

1 Liv. I. 12; Lanciani, R.E. 200; Plainer. 304. 
■ Cic. de Oratore, I. 62. » cic. Verr. IV. 121. 

* VII. pref. 17. 

5 Burn, Borne, 193; Platner, 258. « Plate B. 



5. The peripteral will be that which shall have six 
columns in front and six at the back, and on either 
side eleven, counting in the angle columns. Now 
these columns are to be so placed that there is all 
round a distance the width of an intei'columniation, 
between the walls and the outer rows of the columns, 
This provides a walk round the cell of the temple, 
such as there is at the temple of Jupiter Stator ^ by 
Hermodorus ^ in the Portico of Metellus, and the 
temple of Honor and Virtus ^ built without a 
posticum, by Mucins ^ near the Monument of 
Marius.^ 6. The pseudodipteros ^ is so planned that 
there are eight columns both in front and at the 
back, and fifteen on each side, including the angle 
columns. But the walls of the cella are to face the 
four middle columns in front and at the back. 
Thus there will be a space all round, from the walls 
to the outside rows of the columns, of two inter- 
columniations and the thickness of one column. 
There is no example of this at Rome ; but there is 
at Magnesia the temple of Diana built by Hermo- 
genes of Alabanda, and the temple of Apollo by 
Menesthes. 7. The dipteros "^ has eight columns 
in front and at the back, but it has double rows of 
columns round the sanctuary, like the Doric temple 
of Quirinus,'' and the Ionic temple of Diana at 
Ephesus built by Chersiphron. 8. The hypaethral 
temple has ten columns in front and at the back. 
For the rest it has everything like the dipteral, 
except that in the interior it will have two stories 
of columns, at a distance from the walls all round 
like the colonnade of a peristyle. The centre has 

' At Rome, Cic. ad All. XII. 45; XIII, 28. Burn, Rome, 
249; Plainer 439. Plate B. 



liorum. Medium autem sub divo est sine tecto, 
Aditus valvarum et utraque parte in pronao et postico. 
Huius item exemplar Romae non est, sed Athenis 
octastylos et templo Olympic. 


1 f Species autem aedium sunt quinque, quarum ea 
sunt vocabula : pycnostylos, id est crebris columnis ; 
systylos paulo remissioribus ; diastylos ^ amplius 
patentibus ; rare ^ quam oportet inter se diductis 
araeostylos ^ ; eustylos * intervallorum iusta distribu- 

2 tione. Ergo pycnostylos est, cuius intereolumnio 
unius et dimidiatae columnae crassitudo interponi 
potest, quemadmodum est divi lulii et in Caesaris 
foro Veneris et si quae aliae sic sunt compositae. 
Item systylos ^ est, in quo duarum columnarum 
crassitudo in intei'columnio poterit conlocari, et 
spirarum plinthides aeque magnae sint et spatio, 
quod fuerit inter duas plinthides, quemadmodum 
est Fortunae Equestris ad theatrum lapideum reliquae- 
que,^ quae eisdem rationibus sunt conpositae. 

3 Haec utraque genera vitiosum habent usum. Matres 
enim familiarum cum ad supplicationem gradibus 
ascendunt, non possunt per intercolumnia amplexae 
adire, nisi ordines fecerint ; item valvarum adspectus ''' 
abstruditur columnarum crebritate ipsaque signa 

^ diastylos eel. Ven : interestylos H. 

^ rare for rnrius H. 

^ spatiis intercolumniorum add. G : om. H. 

*■ eustylos ed. Fl : et stilos H. ^ sistilos G, stylos H. 

® reliquae quaeque H. ' abspectus H. 

1 Lanciani, R.E. 269. " Op. cit. 302 ; Platner, 226. 


BOOK III. c. ii.-c. III. 

no roof and is open to the sky. There are folding 
doors in front and at the back. Of this there is no 
example at Rome ; but there is the Octastyle at 
Athens, in the Olympian temple. 



1. There are five elevations of temples, of vi^hichp 
the names are as follows: pycnostyle, that is with] 
close columns; systyle, with the spaces of thej 
intercolumniations a little more open; diastyle,; 
wider still ; with intercolumniations more open than 
they should be, araeostyle ; eustyle, with the just 
distribution of intervals. 2. So then pycnostyle 
is that in the intercolumniations of which the thick- 
ness of a column and a half can be interposed, as in 
the temple of Julius,^ and of Venus "^ in the 
Forum of Caesar, and any others which are so 
arranged. The systyle also is that in which the 
thickness of two columns can be placed in the ; 
intercolumniations, and the plinths of the bases are j 
equally great with the space between two plinths, 5 
as is the temple of Fortuna Equestris ^ against the i' 
Stone Theatre,'* and the others which are arranged u 
in the same proportions. 3. These two kinds are j 
objectionable in use. For when matrons come upj 
by the steps to give thanks, they cannot approach! 
between the columns arm in arm but in single file ;?, 
further, the view of the doors is taken away by the\l 
numerous columns, and the statues themselves are | 

3 Liv. XL. 40; XLTI. 3; Tac, Ann. III. 71 ; Plainer, 215. 
« Lanciani, E.E. 461 ; Plainer, 515. 



obscurantur ; item circa aedem propter angustias 

4 inpediuntur ambulationes. Diastyli autem haec erit 
conpositio, cum trium columnarum crassitudinem 
intercolumnio interponere possumus, tamquam est 
Apollinis et Dianae aedis. Haec dispositio hanc 
habet difficultatem, quod epistylia propter inter- 

5 vallorum magnitudinem franguntur. In araeostylis 
autem nee lapideis nee marmoreis epistyliis uti datur, 
sed inponendae de materia trabes pei'petuae. Et 
ipsarum aedium species sunt varicae,i barycephalae,^ 
humiles, latae, ornanturque signis fictilibus aut aereis 
inauratis earum fastigia tuscanico more, uti est ad 
Circum Maximum Cereris ^ et Herculis Pompeiani, 
item Capitoli.* 

6 Reddenda nunc est eustyli^ ratio, quae maxima 
probabilis et ad usum et ad speciem et ad firmitatem 
rationes habet explicatas. Namque facienda sunt 
in intervallis spatia duarum columnarum et quartae 
partis columnae crassitudinis, mediumque inter- 
columnium unum, quod erit in fronte, alterum, quod 
in postico, trium columnarum crassitudine. Sic 
enim habebit et figurationis aspectum venustum 
et aditus usum sine inpeditionibus et circa cellam 

7 ambulatioauctoritatem. Huius autem rei ratio explica- 
bitur sic. Frons loci quae in aede constituta fuerit, si 
tetrastylos ^ facienda fuerit, dividatur in partes xi s ' 
praeter crepidines et proiecturas spirarum ; si sex 

1 varicae Turnebus : baryce H. ^ parycefale H. 

^ ca&eris H. * capituli B. 

5 estyli H. « &trastylos H. 
' XI s Joe : decusas semis E. 

^ On the Palatine. The only instance of the double name, 
Plainer, 17 n. 



obscured ; walking round the temple is hindered 
on account of the narrow intervals. 4. Of the 
diastyle, the arrangement is as follows : when we 
can interpose the thickness of three columns in 
the intercolumniation, as in the case of the Temple 
of Apollo and Diana. ^ Such a disposition presents 
this difficulty, that the architraves break because 
of the wide openings. 5. In araeostyle buildings it 
is not given to use stone or marble architraves, but 
continuous wooden beams are to be employed. 
And the designs of the buildings themselves are 
straddling, top-heavy, low, broad. The pediments 
are ornamented with statues of terra-cotta or 
gilt bronze in the Etruscan fashion, as is the Temple 
of Ceres ^ at the Circus Maximus, Pompey's Temple 
of Hercules,^ and the Capitoline Temple.* 

6. We must now render an account of the eustyle, 
which is specially to be approved, and has propor- 
tions set out for convenience, beauty and strength. 
For in the intervals the width of two and a quarter 
columns is to be made, and the middle intercolum- 
niation, one in the front and one in the back, is to be 
three columns wide. For so the building will have 
both a graceful appearance in its configuration, 
and a convenient approach ; and the walk round 
the sanctuary will have dignity. 7. The method of 
this arrangement is to be explained as follows. The 
front of the site which has been set out in the build- 
ing is to be divided, if it is to be tetrastyle, into 11|^ 
parts, excluding the plinths and the projections of the 

2 Plin. N.H. XXXV. 154; Tac. Ann. II. 49; Burn, Rome, 

3 Plin. A\ff. XXXIV. 57; Burn, i?omc, 40 ; LancisLm, R.E. 
458; Platner, 255. 

* Burn, Borne, xxvi. ; Platner, 297. 


ei'it coluninarum, in partes xviii ^ ; si octostylos 
constituetur, dividatur in xxiv ^ et semissem. Item 
ex his partibus sive tetrastyli sive hexastyli sive 
octostyli una pars sumatur, eaque erit modulus. 
Cuius moduli unius erit crassitudinis columnarum. 
Intercolumnia singula, praeter media, ^ modulorum 
duorum et moduli quartae partis ; mediana in fronte 
et postico singula ternum modulorum. Ipsarum 
columnarum altitudo modulorum habebunt iustam 
rationem. Huius exemplar Romae nullum habemus, 
sed in Asia Teo hexastylon ^ Liberi Patris. 

Eas autem symmetrias eonstituit Hermogenes, qui 
etiam primus exo stylon ^ pseudodipterive rationem.^ 
Ex dipteri enim aedis symmetriae ' distulit interi- 
ores ordines columnarum xxxiv ^ eaque ratione 
sumptus operasque compendii fecit. Is in medio 
ambulationi laxamentum egregie circa cellam fecit 
de aspectuque nihil inminuit, sed sine desiderio supei*- 
vacuorum conservavit auctoritatem totius operis 
distributione. Pteromatos enim ratio et columnarum 
circum aedem dispositio ideo est inventa, ut aspectus 
propter asperitatem intei'columniorum habeat ^ auc- 
toritatem, praeterea, si ex imbrium ^^ aquae vis 
occupaverit et intercluserit hominum multitudinem, 
ut habeat in aede circaque cellam cum laxamento 
liberam moram. Haec autem ut explicantur in 

^ xviii Joe : decern novem H. 
^ XXIV Joe : viginti quinque H. 
^ media Lor : mediam H. 

* theo H : exastilon H. ^ exostylum H : exo stylon Gr. 

* speudo dipteri uerationem H. 

' symmetriae H, ex c. gen. Graeeism; cf. ex c. aee. repro- 
missionem Gal. in. 18, Am. 

8 XXXIV Phil : XXXVIII H. 9 habeat G : hab& H. 

^^ ex imbrium H. 



bases; if the building is hexastyle, into 18 parts; 
if it shall be octastyle, into 24i parts. Further, 
of these parts, whether for tetrastyle, hexastyle, or 
octastyle, let one be taken, and that will be the 
module or unit. And of this module, one will be 
the thickness of the column. The several inter- 
columniations except those in the middle will be of 
two modules and a quarter ; the middle inter- 
columniations at the front and at the back will be 
severally of three modules. The height of the 
columns will have a just proportion of modules.^ 
8. Of this we have no instance at Rome ; but in 
Asia there is the hexastyle temple of Father Bacchus 
in Teos. 

These proportions Hermogenes ^ determined, 
and he also was the fn-st to use the exostyle or 
pseudodipteral arrangement. For from the plan 
of the dipteral temple he removed the interior rows 
of the thirty-eight columns, and in that manner 
abridged the expense and the woi'k. He made an 
opening for the ambulatory round the cella in a 
striking fashion, and in no respect detracted from 
the appearance. Thus without letting us miss the 
superfluous parts, he preserved the inipressiveness 
of the whole work by his arrangement. ^ 9. For 
the columns round the temple were so devised that 
the view of them was impressive, because of the 
high relief given to the intercolumniations ; more- 
over, if a number of people have been unexpectedly 
cut off by showers of rain, they have plenty of room 
to linger in the building space. Thus far as is ex- 

1 H omits a passage interpolated here. 
^ Hermogenes was one of V.'s authorities. 
^ A good instance of architectural criticism. 



pseudodipteris aediuni dispositionibus. Quare videtur 
acuta magnaque sollertia efFectus operum Hermo- 
genis fecisse reliquisseque fontes, unde poster! 
possent haurire disciplinarum rationes. 

10 Aedibus araeostylis columnae sic sunt faciendae, 
uti crassitudines earum sint partis octavae ad alti- 
tudines. Itein in diastylo dimetienda est altitude 
columnae in partes octo et dimidium, et unius partis 
columnae crassitudo conlocetur. In systylo altitudo 
dividatur in novem et dimidiam partem, et ex eis 
una ad crassitudinem columnae detur. Item in 
pycnostylo dividenda est altitudo in decern, et eius 
una pars facienda est columnae crassitudo. Eustyli ^ 
autem aedis columnae, uti systyli, in novem partibus ^ 
altitudo dividatur et dimidiam partem, et eius una 
pars constituatur in crassitudine imi scapi. Ita 
habebitur pro rata parte intercolumniorum ratio. 

1 1 Quemadmodum enim crescunt spatia inter columnas , 
proportionibus adaugendae sunt crassitudinis ^ scapo- 
rum. Namque si in araeostylo ^ nona aut decima 
pars crassitudinis fuerit, tenuis et exilis apparebit, 
ideo quod per latitudinem intercolumniorum aer 
consumit et inminuit aspectu scaporum crassitudinem. 
Contra vero pycnostylis si octava pars crassitudinis 
fuerit, propter crebritatem et angustias intercolum- 
niorum tumidam et invenustam efficiet speciem. 
Itaque generis operis oportet persequi symmetrias. 

1 eustyli H. " partes Joe : partibus H. 

^ crassitudines G : nom. in is Am. H. 
* simareostylo H. 

1 The Renaissance architects in Rome, e.g. Vignola and 
Palladio, combined the measurements of ancient buildings 
with the study of Vitruvius. 



plained in the pseudodipteral plans of temples. 
Hence there must have been great and subtle skill 
to produce the works of Hermogenes, and it has 
left sources from which posterity could draw their 
methods of study .^ 

10. For araeostyle temples, the columns are to be 
so made that their diameters are one-eighth the 
height. Also in the diastyle, the height of the 
column is to be measured out into eight and a half 
parts, and let the diameter of the column be of one 
part. In the systyle let the height be divided into 
nine and a half parts, let one of those be given for 
the diameter of the column. Also in the pycnostyle, 
the height is to be divided into ten, and of that one 
part is to be made the diameter of the column. 
Now of the eustyle temple, as of the systyle, let T" 
the height be divided into nine and a half parts, and ) 
of that let one part be set up for the diameter of the I 
bottom of the shaft. In this way the relation of \ 
the intercolumniations will be observed proportion- 
ately. 11. For in the measure by which the spaces 1 
between the columns grow, the diameters of the i 
shafts are to be increased. For if in the araeostyle«4. 
there shall be the ninth or tenth part of a diameter, 
it will appear thin and scanty ; because through the 
width of the intercolumniations the air consumes and 
lessens in appearance the diameter of the shafts. ^ 
On the other hand, in pycnostyle temples if there 
shall be the eighth part of a diameter, because of 
the frequency and narrowness of the intercolum- 
niations, it will produce a swollen and displeasing 
appearance. Therefore we must follow the sym- 
metries required by the style of the work. The 

^ Reference to optics. 



Etianique angulares columnae crassiores faciendae 
sunt ex suo diametro quinquagesima parte, quod 
eae ab aere circumciduntur et graeiliores videntur 
esse aspicientibus. Ergo quod oeulus fallit, ratio- 

12 cinatione est exequendum.^ Contracturae autem in 
summis columnarum hypotracheliis ^ ita faciendae 
videntur, uti, si columna sit ab minimo ad pedes 
quinos denos, ima crassitudo dividatur in partes sex 
et earum partium quinque summa constituatur. 
Item ^ quae erit ab quindecim pedibus ad pedes 
viginti, scapus * imus in partes ^ sex et semissem 
dividatur, earumque partium quinque et semisse 
superior crassitudo columnae fiat. Item quae erunt 
a pedibus viginti ad pedes triginta, scapus imus ^ 
dividatur in partes septem, earumque sex summa 
contractura perficiatur. Quae autem ab triginta 
pedibus ad quadraginta alta erit, ima dividatur in 
partes septem et dimidiam ; ex his sex et dimidiam 
in summo habeat contracturae rationem. Quae 
erunt ab quadraginta pedibus ad quinquaginta, item 
dividendae sunt in octo partes, et earum septem in 
summo scapo sub capitulo contrahantur. Item si 
quae altiores erunt, eadem ratione pro rata eonsti- 

13 tuantur ' contracturae. Haec autem propter alti- 
tudinis intervallum scandentis oculi species ^ adici- 
untur crassitudinibus temperaturae. \ enustates 
enim persequitur visus, cuius si non blandimur 
voluptati proportione et modulorum adiectionibus, 
uti quod fallitur temperatione adaugeatur, vastus et 

^ exaequendum H. " hypotrachelis H. 

* itemq ; H. * viginti capus H. 

* post partes add. H, septem superior crassitudo columnae 
del. Joe. 

* imus G : is //. ' constituantur ed : -atur H. 

* oculi rec : oculis H : species H : genii. Kr. 


angle columns also must be made thicker by the 
fiftieth part of their diameter, because they are 
cut into by the air and appear more slender to the 
spectators. Therefore what the eye cheats us of, 
must be made up by calculation. 12. The con- 
tractions, however, in the topmost necking of the 
columns, it seems, should be so made that from the 
smallest dimension up to fifteen feet, the lowest 
diameter should be divided into six parts and the 
top should be of five of those parts. Also in those 
which shall be from fifteen feet to twenty feet, the 
lowest part of the shaft is to be divided into six 
and a half parts ; and of those parts five and a half 
are to be the upper diameter of the column. Also 
in those which shall be from twenty feet to thirty 
feet, let the lowest part of the shaft be divided into 
seven parts, and let the top contraction be made 
six of them. In the column which shall be from 
thirty to forty feet, let the lowest diameter be 
divided into seven and a half parts ; of these let the 
column have six and a half at the top as the amount 
of contraction. Those which shall be from forty to 
fifty feet are also to be divided into eight parts, and 
these are to be contracted to seven at the top of the 
shaft under the capital. Further, if any are higher, 
let the contractions be determined proportionately 
in the same way. 13. It is on account of the varia- 
tion in height that these adjustments are added to 
the diameters to meet the glance of the eye as it 
rises. For the sight follows gracious contours ; 
and unless we flatter its pleasure, by proportionate 
alterations of the modules (so that by adjustment 
there is added the amount to which it suffers 
illusion), an uncouth and ungracious aspect will be 




invenustus conspicientibus remittetur aspectus. De 
adiectione, quae adicitur in mediis columnis, quae 
apud Graecos entasis appellatur, in extremo libro 
ei'it formata ratio eius, quemadmodum mollis et 
conveniens efficiatui*, subscripta. 


1 FuNDATiONES corum operum fodiantur, si queat 
inveniri, ab solido et in solidum, quantum ex ampli- 
tudine operis pi'o ratione videbitur, exti'uaturque 
structura totum solum quam solidissima. Supraque 
terram parietes extruantur sub columnas dimidio 
crassiores quam columnae sunt futurae, uti firmiora 
sint inferiora superioribus ; quae stereobates ^ appel- 
lantur, nam excipiunt onera. Spirarumque proiec- 
turae non procedant extra solium ; item supra 
parietis ^ ad eundem modum crassitudo servanda est. 
Intervalla autem concamaranda aut solidanda festu- 

2 cationibus, uti distineantur.^ Sin autem solidum non 
invenietur, sed locus erit congesticius * ad imum aut 
paluster,^ tunc is locus fodiatur exinaniaturque et 
palis alneis ^ aut oleagineis <(aut) robusteis ustilatis 
configatur,'' sublicaque ^ machinis adigatur quam 
creberrime, carbonibusque expleantur intervalla 

* est ereobates H. ^ parietis Joe : -tes H. 
^ distineantur Joe : destineantur H. 

* congesticius G : coniesticius H. 

^ paluster G : plai | ter //. ® alneis Joe : saligneis H. 
' configatur G : configuratur H. * subligaque H. 

^ Hence the ornaments of a building should follow the lines 
of the structure in such a way as to support the proportions. 

2 Without a slight swelling of the shaft of a column, the 
straight upright line would strike the eye as hollowed inwards. 


BOOK III. c. iii.-c. IV. 

presented to the spectators. ^ As to the sweUing ^ 
which is made in the middle of the columns (this 
among the Greeks is called entasis), an illustrated 
formula will be furnished at the end of the book to 
show how the entasis may be done in a graceful and 
appropriate manner. 



1 . Let the foundations of those works be dug from 
a solid site and to a solid base if it can be found, 
as much as shall seem proportionate to the size of 
the work ; and let the whole site be worked into a 
structure as solid as possible. And let walls be 
built, upon the ground under the columns, one-half 
thicker than the columns are to "be, so that the 
lower portions are stronger than the higher ; and 
these are called the stereohate,^ for they receive the 
loads. And let not the projections of the base 
mouldings proceed beyond the bed. Further, the 
thickness of the wall is to be kept above in the 
same manner. The spaces between the columns are 
to be arched over, or made solid by being rammed 
down, so that the columns may be held apart. 
2. But if a solid foundation is not found, and the 
site is loose earth right down, or marshy, then it is 
to be excavated and cleared and re-made with piles ^ 
of alder or of olive or charred oak, and the piles are 
to be driven close together by machinery, and the 
intervals between are to be filled with charcoal. 

^ The platform on which the columns rest. 
* Piles at Ravenna, II. ix. 11. 


palorum, et tunc structuris solidissimis fundamenta 
impleantur. Extructis autem fundamentis ad libra- 

3 mentum stylobatae sunt conlocandae. Supra stylo- 
batas columnae disponendae, queniadmodum supra 
scriptum est, sive in pycnostylo, quemadmodum 
pycnostyla, sive systylo aut diastylo aut eustylo, 
quemadmodum supra scripta sunt et constituta. In 
araeostylis enim libertas est quantum euique libet 
constituendi. Sed ita columnae in peripteris conlo- 
centur, uti, quot ^ intercolumnia sunt in fronte, 
totidem bis intercolumnia fiant in lateribus ; ita enim 
erit duplex longitudo operis ad latitudinem. Nam- 
que qui columnarum duplieationes fecerunt, erravisse 
videntur, quod unum intercolumnium in longitudine 

4 plus quam oporteat pi'ocurrere videtur. Gradus in 
fronte constituendi ita sunt, uti sint - semper inpares ; 
namque cum dextro pede pi'imus gradus ascendatur, 
item in summo templo primus erit ponendus. Crassi- 
tudines autem eorum graduum ita finiendas censeo, 
ut neque crassiores dextante ^ nee tenuiores dodrante 
sint conlocatae ; sic enim durus non erit ascensus. 
Retractationes autem graduum nee minus quam ses- 
quipedales nee plus quam bipedales faciendae videntur. 
Item si circa aedem gradus futuri sunt, ad eundem 

5 modum fieri debent. Sin autem circa aedem ex 
tribus lateribus podium faciendum erit, ad id con- 
stituatur, uti quadrae, spirae, trunci, coronae, lysis 
ad ipsum stylobatam, qui erit sub columnarum * 

1 quod H. 2 sunt G : sint H. 

^ dextante G : extantae H ? xtante Gr. 
* columnarum Bode : columna H. 

^ The stylobate is that part of the platform or stereobate on 
which the columns are erected. 



Then the foundations are to be filled with very 
solid structures. The foundations being built to 
a level, the stylobates ^ are to be laid. 3. Above 
the stylobates the columns are to be erected as 
described above ; whether in pycnostyle (as are the 
pycnostyle temples), or in systyle, or diastyle or 
eustyle, as it has been described and determined 
above. For in araeostyle there is freedom to 
determine as everybody pleases. But let the 
columns be so disposed in peripteral temples that 
the intercolumniations on the sides are twice as 
many as on the front. For then the length of the 
work will be twice the breadth. For those who 
made double the number of the columns seem to be 
at fault because in the length one more inter- 
columniation than is necessary seems to occur. 
4. The steps are to be so placed in front that they 
are always of an uneven number. For since the 
first step is ascended on the right foot, the right 
foot must also be set on the top of the temple steps. 
And the risers of the steps must be of such dimens- 
ions that they are neither deeper than ten inches 
nor shallower than nine. For thus the ascent will 
not be hard. But the treads of the steps, it seems, 
should be made not less than eighteen inches or 
more than two feet. Also, if steps are to be round 
the temple, they ought to be made after the same 
measure. 5. But if a platform is to be made round 
the temple on three sides, it is to be planned in such 
a way2 that the plinths, bases, dados, cornices and 
cymatium conform to the pedestal which is under 

^ These parts of the pedestal have a certain correspondence 
to the parts of the column and entablature. 



spiris, conveniant. Stylobatam ita oportet exaequari, 
uti habeat per medium adieetionem per scamillos 
inpares ; si enim ad libellam dirigetur, alveolatum 
oeulo videbitm*. Hoc autem, ut scamilli ad id con- 
venientes fiant, item in extreme libro forma et 
demonstratio erit descripta. 

1 His perfectis in suis locis spii'ae eonlocentur, eaeque 
ad symmetriam sic perficiantur, uti crassitude cum 
plintho sit columnae ex dimidia crassitudine proiectu- 
ramque, quam Graeci eKffiopav^ vocitant, habeant 
sextantem ; ita turn lata et longa erit columnae 

2 crassitudinis unius et dimidiae. Altitudo eius, si 
atticurges erit, ita dividatur, ut superior pars tertia 
parte sit crassitudinis columnae, reliquum plintho 
relinquatur. Dempta plintho reliquum dividatur in 
partes quattuor, fiatque superior torus [quartae ; 
reliquae tres aequaliter dividantur, et una sit inferior 
torus,] 2 altera pars cum suis quadris scotia, quam 

3 Graeci trochilon ^ dicunt. Sin autem ionicae erunt 
faciendae, symmetriae earum sic erunt constituendae, 
uti latitude spirae quoqueversus sit columnae 
crassitudinis adiecta crassitudine quarta et octava. 
Altitudo ita uti atticurges ; ita ut eius plinthos ; 
reliquumque praeter plinthum, quod erit tertia * pars 
crassitudinis columnae, dividatur in partes septem : 

^ Graecis Uteris primum servatis = ecphoran H. 

* quartae . . . torus G: om. H. 

' trochilon H. * erit tertia Joe : ei ad tertia H. 

^ Scamillus seems to mean the riser or height of a step. 
2 Plate C. ' Refers probably to the torus of the base. 


BOOK III. c. iv.-c. V. 

the bases of the columns. The stylobate must be 
so levelled that it increases towards the middle 
with unequal risers ^ ; for if it is set out to a level 
it will seem to the eye to be hollowed. The method 
of making the risex's suitable to this will be set out 
with a figure and demonstration at the end of the 



1. When this is done, let the bases be put in 
position, and let them be so finished in proportion 
that the thickness with the plinth amounts to half 
the thickness of the column, and have a projection 
(which the Greeks call ecphord) of one-sixth.^ The 
bases will be one and a half thicknesses of a column, 
front and side. 2. The height, if it is to be an 
Attic base, is to be thus divided : that the upper 
part is to be one-third of the thickness of the~ 
column, and the remainder left to the plinth. 
Taking the plinth away, the remainder is to be 
divided into four parts, and the upper torus is to be 
one-fourth : the remaining three-fourths are to be 
equally divided so that one is the lower torus ^ 
and the other the scotia ^ (which the Greeks call 
trochilus) with its fillets. 3. But if the bases are to 
be Ionic, their proportions are to be so fixed that 
the breadth of the base each way is one and three- 
eighths of the thickness of a column. The height is 
to be like the Attic base ; so also its plinth. The 
remainder beside the plinth, which will be the third 
part of the column's diameter, is to be divided into 

* A convex moulding. * A hollow moulding. 



inde triuni partium torus qui est in summo ; reliquae 
quattuor partes dividendae sunt aequaliter, et una 
pars fiat cum suis astragalis et supercilio superior 
trochilus, altera pars inferior! ^ trochilo relinquatur ; 
sed inferior niaior apparebit, ideo quod habebit ad 
extremam plinthuni ^ proiecturam. Astragali faciendi 
sunt octavae partis trochili ; proiectura erit spirae pars 
octava et sexta decuma pars^ crassitudinis columnae. 

Spiris perfectis et conlocatis columnae sunt 
medianae in pronao et postico ad perpendiculum 
medii centri conlocandae, angulares autem quaeque 
e regione earum futura sunt in lateribus aedis dextra 
ac sinistra, uti partes interiores, quae ad parietes 
celiac spectant, ad perpendiculum latus habeant 
conlocatum, exteriores autem partes uti dicant se 
earum contracturam. Sic enim erunt figurae con- 
positionis aediumcontractura eius taliratione exactae. 

Scapis columnarum statutis capitulorum ratio si 
pulvinata erunt, his symmetriis conformabuntur, 
uti, quam crassus imus scapus fuerit addita octava 
decuma parte scapi, abacus habeat longitudinem et 
latitudinem ; crassitudinem cum volutis eius 
dimidiam. Recedendum autem est ab extremo 
abaco in interiorem partem frontibus volutarum parte 
duodevicensima et eius dimidia. Tunc crassitudo 
dividenda est in partes novem et dimidiam, et 
secundum abacum in quattuor partibus volutarum 

1 inferiori G : inferior H. 
2 plinthum G : plinthuum H. ^ decuma apars H. 

1 Rounded fillet. 

- Lit. " so as to declare themselves to be a contraction of 
the others." 

' These adjustments characterise the whole of the 

BOOK III. c. V. 

seven parts : of these the torus at the top is to be 
three parts ; the remaining four are to be equally 
divided ; one half to the upper hollow with its 
astragals ^ and top moulding, the other half is to 
be left to the lower trochilus ; but the lower will 
seem greater because it will have a projection to the 
edge of the plinth. The astragals are to be one- 
eighth part of the scotia. The proj ection of the base 
will be three-sixteenths of the thickness of the 

4. When the bases are complete and in position, 
the middle columns in front and at the back are to 
be set up to a pei-pendicular, but the corner columns 
and those which are in line with them on the flanks 
of the temple right and left are to be set up so that 
the inside parts which look to the sanctuary, have 
their faces perpendicular, but the outside parts so 
as to declare their diminution. ^ In this way the 
intention of the design of the temple will be com- 
pleted by such contraction.^ 

5. When the shafts of the columns are fixed, the 
proportions of the Ionic capitals * are to be con- 
formed to these symmetries : namely, that, adding 
the eighteenth part to the thickest part of the shaft, 
the abacus may find its length and breadth ; the 
height of the capital with the volutes, half of that. 
There must be a set-back from the edge of the 
abacus inwards on the front of the volutes of an 
eighteenth part and a half. Then the height of 
the capital is to be divided into nine and a half 
parts, and lines (which are called cathetoe) are to be 
let fall down the abacus, at the four corners of the 

'' See illustration, 



secundum extremi abaci quadram lineae dimittendae, 
quae cathetoe dicuntur. Tunc ex novem partibus 
et dimidia una pars et dimidia abaci crassitude 
relinquatur, reliquae octo volutis constituantur. 

6 Tunc ab linea quae secundum abaci extremam 
partem dimissa erit, in interiorem partem (alia) 
recedat unius et dimidiatae partis latitudine. Deinde 
hae lineae dividantur ita, ut quattuor partes et 
dimidia sub abaco reliquatur. Tunc in eo loco, qui 
locus dividit quattuor et dimidiam et tres et dimidiam 
partem, centrum oeuli ; signeturque ex eo centro 
rotunda circinatio tarn magna in diametro, quam 
una pars ex octo partibus est. Ea erit oculi magni- 
tudine, et in ea catheto ^ respondens diametros 
agatur. Tunc ab summo sub abaco inceptum in 
singulis tetrantorum actionibus dimidiatum oculi 
spatium minuatur, donique ^ in eundem tetrantem 

7 qui est sub abaco, veniat.^ Capituli autem crassitude 
sic est facienda, ut ex novem partibus et dimidia tres 
partes praependeant infra astragalum summi scapi; 
cymatio, adempto ^ abaco et canali, reliqua sit pars. 
Proiectura autem cymatii habet extra abaci quadram 
oculi magnitudinem. Pulvinorum baltei abaco banc 
habeant proiecturam, uti circini centrum unum cum 
sit positum in capituli tetrante et alterum deducatur 
ad extremum c^Tiiatium, circumactum balteorum 
extremas partes tangat. Axes volutarum nee crassi- 
ores sint quam oculi magnitudo, volutaeque ipsae 

^ catheto Joe : cathecton H. 
^ donique Lachm : denique H. 
^ qui est sub abconveniat H. 
* adempto ed : adepto H. 

^ See figure. 

BOOK III. c. V. 

volutes, following a perpendicular fi'oni the edge 
of the abacus. Then of nine parts and a half, one 
part and a half are to be left as the thickness of the 
abacus, and the remaining eight parts are to be 
allotted to the volutes. 6. Then within a vertical 
line which is let fall at the extreme corner of the 
abacus, let fall another line at the distance of one 
part and a half. Next let these lines be so divided 
that four parts and a half are left under the abacus. 
Then that point which divides the four and a half 
and the three and a half is the centre of the eye 
of the volute : and let there be drawn from that 
centre a complete circle with a diameter of one 
part out of the eight parts. That will be the 
magnitude of the eye. Through the centre let there 
be drawn a vertical diameter. Then, beginning 
from the top under the abacus, let the radius be 
successively diminished by half the diameter of the 
eye in describing the quadrants, until it comes into 
the quadrant which is under the abacus. ^ 7. Now 
the height of the capital is to be so arranged that 
of the nine and a half parts, three parts are below 
the astragal at the top of the shaft. The remaining 
part is for the cymatium, when the abacus and 
channel are taken away. The projection of the 
cymatium beyond the abacus is to be the size of 
the eye. Let the bands of the pillows ^ have the 
following projection: one point of the compasses is 
placed in the centre of the eye, and the other point is 
taken to the top of the cymatium ; the circle thus 
described will mark the furthest part of the pillow 
band. The axes of the volutes should not be further 
apart than the diameter of the eye, and the volutes 

^ Pulvinvs. 


sic caedantur^ altitudinis suae duodecimam partem. 
Haec erunt symmetriae capitulorum, quae ^ columnae 
futurae sunt ab niininio ad pedes xxv. Quae supra 
erunt, reliqua habebunt ad eundem modum sym- 
metrias, abacus autem erit longus et latus, quam 
crassa columna est ima adiecta parte vim, uti, quo 
minus habuerit altior columna contractum, eo ne 
minus habeat capitulum suae symmetriae proiecturam 

8 et in altitudine ^ suae partis ^ adiectionem. De 
volutarum descriptionibus, uti ad circinum sint recte 
involutae, quemadmodum describantur, in extremo 
libro forma et ratio earum erit subscripta. 

Capitulis perfectis deinde columnarum non ad 
libellam sed ad aequalem modulum conlocatis, ut, 
quae adiectio in stylobatis facta fuerit, in superioribus 
membris respondeat symmetria epistyliorum. p],pisty- 
liorum ratio sic est habenda, uti, si columnae fuerint a 
minima xii pedum ad quindecim pedes, epistylii sit 
altitudo dimidia crassitudinis imae columnae ; item 
ab XV pedibus ad xx, columnae altitudo demetiatur 
in partes tredecim, et unius partis altitudo epistylii 
fiat ; item si a xx ad xxv pedes, dividatur altitudo in 
partes xii et semissem, et eius una pars epistylium 
in altitudine fiat ; item si ab xxv pedibus ad xxx, 
dividatur in partes xii, et eius una pars altitudo fiat. 
Item ratam partem ad eundem modum ex altitudine 
columnarum expediendae sunt altitudines epi- 

9 styliorum. Quo altius enim scandit oculi species, 
non facile persecat aeris crebritatem ; dilapsa itaque 

1 sic cedantur H. 

^ capitulorumque H. 

^ latitudine rec : altitudine H. 

* suae partis H"^ : repartis H G. 


BOOK III. c. V. 

themselves are to be channelled to the twelfth 
part of their height. These will be the proportions 
of capitals when the columns shall be up to twenty- 
five feet. Those which are more will have their 
other proportions after the same fashion. The 
length and breadth of the abacus will be the thickness 
of the column at its base with the addition of one- 
ninth : inasmuch as its diminution is less as the 
height is greater, the capital must not have less 
addition in projection and height. 8. At the end 
of the book a diagram and formula will be furnished 
for the drawing of the volutes so that they may be 
correctly turned by the compass. 

When the capitals are completed they are to be 
set, not level through the range of columns, but 
with a corresponding adjustment; so that the 
architraves in the upper members may correspond 
to the addition in the stylobates. The pi*oportion 
of the architraves should be as follows : if the 
columns are from twelve to fifteen feet, the height 
of the architrave should be half the thickness of the 
column at the bottom ; from fifteen to twenty feet 
let the height of the column be divided into thirteen 
parts, and the height of the architrave be one part ; 
from twenty to twenty-five feet, let the height be 
divided into twelve parts and a half, and let the 
architrave be one part of that in height ; also from 
twenty-five to thirty let it be divided into twelve 
parts, and let the height be made of one part. 
Thus the heights of the architraves are to be 
determined in accordance with the height of the 
columns. 9. For the higher the glance of the eye 
rises, it pierces with the more difficulty the dense- 
ness of the air ; therefore it fails owing to the 



altitudinis spatio et viribus, extructam incertam 
modulorum renuntiat sensibus quantitatem. Quare 
semper adiciendum est ration! supplenientum in 
symmetriarum membris, ut, cum fuerint aut ^ 
altioribus locis opera aut etiam ipsa colossieotera,^ 
habeant magnitudinum rationem. Epistylii latitude 
in imo, quod supra capitulum erit, quanta crassitude 
summae columnae sub capitulo erit, tanta fiat ; 

10 summum, quantum imus scapus. Cymatium epi- 
stylii ^ septima parte suae altitudinis est faciendum, 
et in proiectura tantundem. Reliqua pars praeter 
cymatium dividenda est in partes xii, et earum trium 
ima ^ fascia est facienda, secunda iiii, suinma v. Item 
zophorus supra epistylium quarta parte minus quam 
epistylium ; sin autem sigilla designari oportuerit, 
quarta parte altior ^ quam epistylium, uti auctori- 
tatem habeant scalpturae. Cymatium suae alti- 
tudinis partis septimae ; proiecturae cymatium 

11 quantum^ crassitudo. Supra zophorum denticulus 
est faeiendus tam altus quam epistylii media fascia ' ; 
proiectura eius quantum altitude. Intersectio, quae 
Graece metope ^ dicitur, sic est dividenda, uti denticu- 
lus altitudinis suae dimidiam partem habeat in 
fronte, cavus autem intersectionis ^ huius frontis e 
tribus duas partes ; huius cymatium altitudinis eius 
sextain partem. Corona cum suo cymatio, praeter 

^ ut cum fuerint aut Joe : cum fuerint ut aut H. 

^ colossicotera Joe : colossi caetera H. 

^ cymatium epistylii ed : cymatii epystilii H. 

* ima Polenus : iam H. * altior Phil : altiore H. 

* quantum Mar : quam H. ' fascia Joe : fastigia H. 

* metoce H. * intersectionis G : -nes H. 

BOOK III. c. V. 

amount and power of the height, and reports to 
the senses the assemblage of an uncertain ^ quantity 
of the modules. And so we must always add a 
supplement to the proportion in the case of the 
symmetrical parts, so that works which are either 
in higher positions or themselves more grandiose 
may have proportionate dimensions. The breadth 
of the architrave at the bottom where it rests upon 
the capital should equal the diameter of the top 
of the column under the capital : the top of the 
architrave should be as wide as the lower diameter 
of the shaft. 10. The cymatium ^ of the architrave" 
should be made one-seventh of its height and the 
projection of it the same. The remainder apart 
from the cymatium is to be divided into twelve 
parts of which the lowest fascia ^ is to have three ; 
the second, four; the top, five. The frieze also 
above the architrave is to be a fourth less than the 
architrave ; but if figures are to be introduced, a 
fourth higher, so that the carvings may be eifective. 
The cymatium a seventh part of its height ; the 
projection of the cymatium as much as the thickness. 
11. Above the frieze the dentil^ is to be made as 
high as the middle fascia of the architrave ; its 
projection as much as its height. The interval, 
which in Greek is called metope,^ is to be arranged 
so that the dentil is half as wide as it is high ; the 
hollow of the interval is two-thirds of the front of the 
dentil; the cymatium of this, one-sixth its height. 
The cornice with its cymatium, but without the 

1 Cf. " uncertain images," VII. pref. 11. 

2 See illustration. ^ A plain perpendicular band. 

* Small blocks projecting from the lower part of the cornice. 

^ These are not to be confused with the larger square 

members which come between the triglyphs of the Doric order. 

VOL. I. O 


simam, quantum media fascia epistylii ; proiectura 
coronae cum denticulo facienda est, quantum erit 
altitude a zophoro ad summum coronae cymatium ; 
et omnino omnes ecphorae venustiorem habeant spe- 
ciem, quae quantum altitudinis ^ tantundem habeant 

12 proiecturae. Tympani autem, quod est in fastigio, 
altitudo sic est facienda, uti frons coronae ab extremis 
cymatiis tota dimetiatur in partes novem et ex eis 
una pars in medio cacumine tympani constituatur, 
dum contra epistylia - columnarumque hypotrachelia 
ad perpendiculum respondeant. Coronaeque supra 
aequaliter imis praeter simas sunt conlocandae. 
Insuper coronas simae, quas Graeci epaietidas ^ dicunt, 
faciendae sunt altiores octava parte coronarum 
altitudinis. Acroteria angularia tam alta, quantum 
est tympanum medium, mediana altiora octava parte 
quam angularia. 

13 Membra omnia, quae supra capitula columnarum 
sunt futura, id est epistylia, zophora, coronae,^ 
tympana, fastigia, acroteria, inclinanda sunt in frontis 
suae cuiusque altitudinis parte xii, ideo quod, cum 
steterimus contra frontes, ab oculo lineae duae si 
extensae fuerint et una tetigerit imam operis partem, 
altera summam, quae summam tetigerit, longior fiet. 
Ita quo longior visus linea in superiorem partem 
procedit, resupinatam facit eius speciem. Cum 
autem, uti supra scriptum est, in fronte inclinata 

' altitudinis G : -nes H. ^ epistylia Joe : -Hi H. 

^ epitidas H (corr. Botticher). 
* coronae Joe : corona & x. 

1 Moulding above cornice. 

" Neckings. 

^ Small pedestals on which statues are placed. 


BOOK III. c. V. 

sima,^ is to be equal to the middle fascia of the 
architrave. The projection of the cornice with the 
dentil is to be made equal to the height from the 
frieze to the top of the cymatium of the cornice ; 
and generally all projections have a more graceful 
appearance when they are equal to the height of 
the feature. 12. The height of the tympanum 
which is in the pediment is to be such, that the 
whole front of the cornice from the outside of the 
cymatia is to be measured into nine parts ; and 
of these one is to be set up in the middle for the 
summit of the tympanum. The architraves and 
hypotrachelia ^ of the columns are vertically under 
it. The cornices above the tympana are to be 
made equal to those below, omitting the simae. 
Above the cornices the simae, which the Greeks 
call epaietides, are to be made higher by one-eighth 
than the coronae. The angle acroteria^ are to be 
as high as the middle of the tympanum ; the middle 
ones are to be one-eighth higher than those at the 

13. All the features which are to be above the 
capitals of the columns, that is to say, architraves, 
friezes, cornices, tympana, pediments, acroteria, are 
to be inclined towards their fronts by a twelfth part 
of their height ; because when we stand against the 
fronts, if two lines are drawn from the eye,^ and one 
touches the lowest part of the work, and the other 
the highest, that which touches the highest, will be 
the longer. Thus because the longer line of vision 
goes to the upper part, it gives the appearance of 
leaning backwards. When however, as written 
above, the line is inclined to the front, then the 

* Optical consideration involves a reference to perspective. 

o 2 


fuerit, tunc in aspectu videbuntur esse ad perpendi- 

14 culum et normam. Columnarum striae faciendae 
sunt xxiiii ita excavatae, uti norma in cavo striae 
cum fuerit coniecta, circumacta anconibus striarum 
dextra ac sinistra tangat acumenque normae 
circum rotundationem tangendo pervagari possit. 
Crassitudines striarum faciendae sunt, quantum 
adiectio in media columna ex descriptione invenietur. 

15 In simis, quae supra coronam in lateribus sunt 
aedium, capita leonina sunt scalpenda,disposita <(ita), 
uti contra columnas singulas primum sint designata, 
cetera aequali modo disposita, uti singula singulis 
mediis tegulis respondeant. Haec autem, quae erunt 
contra columnas, perterebrata sint ad canalem, qui 
excipit e tegulis aquam caelestem ; mediana autem 
sint solida, uti, quae cadit vis aquae per tegulas in 
canalem, ne deiciatur per intercolumnia neque 
transeuntes perfundat,^ sed quae sunt contra 
columnas, videantur emittere vomentia ructus 
aquarum ex ore. 

Aedium ionicarum, quam apertissime potui, dis- 
positioncs hoc volumine scripsi ; doricarum autem et 
corinthiarum quae sint proportiones, insequenti libro 

^ perfundant H. 


BOOK III. c. V. 

parts will seem vertical and to measure. 14. The 
flutes of the columns are to be twenty four, hollowed 
out in such a way that if a set square is placed in the 
hollow of a flute and moved round its ends, it will 
touch the fillets on the right and left, and the point 
of the square will touch the curve as it moves round. 
The width of the flutes is to be altered so as to suit 
the addition produced by the swelling ^ of the column. 
15. On the mouldings, which are above the cornice 
on the sides of temples, lions' heads are to be 
carved, and arranged firstly so as to be set over against 
the tops of the several columns ; the others at equal 
intervals so as to answer to the middle of the roof 
tiling. But these which will be against the columns 
are to be pierced for a gutter which takes the rain- 
water from the tiles. The intervening heads are to 
be solid so that the water which falls over the tiles 
into the gutter, may not fall down through the inter- 
columniations upon the passers by. But those which 
are against the columns are to seem to vomit and 
let fall streams of water from their mouths. 

In this book I have written about the arrangements 
of Ionic temples as clearly as I could : I will unfold 
in the next book the proportions of Doric and 
Corinthian temples. 

^ Entasis; see above c. iii. 13. 




1 Cum animadvertissem, imperator, plures de archi- 
tectura praecepta voluminaque conimentarioruni 
non ordinata sed incepta, uti particulas, errabundos ^ 
reliquisse, dignani et utilissimam rem putavi antea 
disciplinae corpus ad perfectani ordinationem per- 
ducere et praescriptas in singulis voluminibus 
singuloruni generum qualitates explicare. Itaque, 
Caesar, primo volumine tibi de officio eius et quibus 
erudituni esse rebus architectum oporteat, exposui. 
Secundo de copiis materiae, e quibus aedificia 
constituuntur, disputavi ; tertio autem de aedium 
sacrarum dispositionibus et de earum generum 
varietate quasque et quot ^ habeant species earumque 

2 quae sunt in singulis generibus distributiones. Ex 
tribus generibus quae subtilissimas haberent propor- 
tionibus modulorum quantitates ionici generis mori- 
bus, docui ; nunc hoc volumine de doricis corinthiisque 
constitutis (et) ^ omnibus dicam eorumque discrimina 
et proprietates explicabo. 

^ eirabundas Joe : -clos E. ^ quod H. 

■' om. Gr. 



1, When I perceived, your Highness, that many 
persons had stated the rules of Architecture, and 
had written commentaries casually, not set in 
due order but merely inchoate (like atoms) I 
thought it a worthy and most useful task first of all 
to reduce the encyclopedia of architecture to a 
perfect order, and in the several books to explain 
the qualities^ of the several objects assigned to 
them. Therefore, Caesar, in the first book I ex- 
pounded the function of the architect and the sub- 
jects in which he should be trained; in the second 
I discussed the supplies of the materials, of which 
buildings are constructed ; in the third, the arrange- 
ments of temples, their different kinds, how many 
styles of design there were, and the details which 
belong to them severally. 2. Of the three orders, 
I taught, in reference to the Ionic order, those rules 
which, by the use of proportion, furnish the most 
exact adjustment of the modules. In this book I 
will proceed to speak of the Doric and Corinthian 
orders generally, their distinctions and properties. 

^ As distinct from quantity. 



1 CoLUMNAE corinthiae praeter capitula omnes 
symnietrias habent uti ionicae, sed capitulorum alti- 
tudiiies efficiunt eas pro rata excelsiores et graciliores, 
quod ionici capituli altitudo tertia pars est cras- 
situdinis columnae, corinthii^ tota crassitudo scapi. 
Igitur quod duae partes e crassitudine corinthiarum ^ 
adiciuntur, efficiunt excelsitate specieni earum 

2 graciliorem. Cetera membra quae supra columnas 
inponuntur, aut e doricis symmetriis aut ionicis 
moribus in corinthiis columnis eonlocantur, quod 
ipsum corinthium genus propriam ^ coronarum 
reliquorumque ornamentorum non habuerat institu- 
tionem, sed aut e triglyphorum ■* rationibus mutuli in 
coronis et epistyliis guttae dorico more disponuntur, 
aut ex ionicis institutis zophoroe scalpturis ornati 

3 cum denticulis et coronis distribuuntur. Ita e 
generibus duobus capitulo interposito tertium genus 
in operibus est procreatum. E columnarum enim 
formationibus trium generum factae sunt nomina- 
tiones, dorica, ionica, corinthia, e quibus prima et 
antiquitus dorica est nata. 

Namque Achaia Peloponnessoque tota Dorus, 
Hellenos ^ et Phthiados ^ nymphae filius, regnavit, 

^ corinthii Joe : -thie H. 

^ corinthiarum Schyi : -orum H. 

^ propria H. * &rygiliphorum H. 

* Hellenos Polenus : helenidos H. 

« Exptidos H : Phthiados Gr. Eur. Hec. 451. 

^ The Porticus Octavia was the first work built in the 
Corinthian style at Rome, in 168 B.C., and was also called 
Porticus Corinthia. Lanciani BE 469, Platner 426. 


BOOK IV. c. I. 


1. Corinthian ^ columns have all their proportions 
like the Ionic, with the exception of their capitals. 
The height of the capitals renders them propor- 
tionately higher and more slender, because the 
height of the Ionic capital is one third of the thickness 
of the column, that of the Corinthian is the whole 
diameter of the shaft. Therefore because two-thirds 
of the diameter of the Corinthian columns are added 
to the capitals they give an appearance of greater 
slenderness owing to the increase in height. 2. The 
remaining features which are fixed above the 
columns are placed upon them in accordance either 
with Doric proportions or in the Ionic manner ; 
because the Corinthian order has not separate rules 
for the cornices and the other ornaments, but, on 
the one hand, the mutules ^ in the cornices and the 
guttae in the architraves, are disposed in the Doric 
fashion ; or, on the other hand following the Ionic 
arrangement, the friezes are adorned with carving 
and are combined with dentils and cornices. 3. Thus 
from the two orders, a third is produced by the 
introduction of a new capital. From the formation 
of the columns, come the names of the three styles, 
Doric, Ionic, Corinthian ; of which the Doric came 
first and from early ages.^ 

For in Achaea and over the whole Pelopon- 
nese, Dorus, the son of Hellen and the nymph 

2 Mutule = projecting bracket. 

3 It is anticipated in the buildings of Cnossus in Crete; 
see Plate E. 



isque Argis, vetusta civitate, lunonis templum 
aedificavit, eius generis fortuito formae fanuni, 
deinde isdem generibus in ceteris Achaiae civitatibus, 
cum etiamnuni non esset symmetriarum ratio nata. 

4 Postea autem quam Athenienses ex responsis Apol- 
linis Delphici, communi consilio totius Hellados, 
XIII colonias uno tempore in Asiam deduxerunt 
ducesqiie in singulis coloniis constituerunt et summam 
imperii potestatem loni, Xuthi^ et Creusae ^ filio, 
dederunt, quem etiam Apollo Delphis suuni filium 
in responsis est professus, isque eas colonias in Asiam 
deduxit et Cariae fines occupavit ibique civitates 
amplissimas constituit Ephesum, Miletum, Myunta ^ 
(quae olim ab aqua est devorata ; cuius sacra et 
sufFragium Milesiis ^ lones adtribuerunt), Prienen,^ 
Samum, Teon, Colophona, Chium, Erythras,^ 
Phocaeam,'' Clazomenas,^ Lebedon, Meliten ^ (haec 
Melite propter civium adrogantiam ab his civitatibus 
bello indicto communi consilio est sublata ; cuius loco 
postea regis Attali et Arsinoes beneficio Zmyrnae- 

6 orum civitas inter lonas est recepta) : hae civitates, 
cum Caras et Lelegas eiecissent, earn terrae regionem 
a duce suo lone appellaverunt loniam ibique deorum 
inmortalium templa constituentes coeperunt fana 
aedificare. Et primum Apollini ^" Panionio ^^ aedem, 

1 ionix uthi H. ^ Creusae Joe : ereuso H. 

^ myanta //. * milesius H. ^ prenem //. 

® erytras H. ' phocea H. 
* glazomenum //. ^ meletenis H. 

^° appollini H. ^^ Panionio Joe : pandionio H. 

^ Euripides' play Ion is probably alluded to here. Vitruvius 
quotes from his Phaelhon and has preserved an otherwise 
unknown fragment Book IX. i. 13. 

^ Aqua refers to the encroachment of the sea. 


BOOK IV. c. I. 

Phthia was king ; by chance he built a temple 
in this style at the old city of Argos, in the 
sanctuary of Juno, and, afterwards, in the other 
cities of Achaea after the same style, when as yet 
the determination of the exact proportions of the 
order had not begun. 4. Afterwards the Athenians, 
in accordance with the responses of Apollo, and by 
the general consent of all Greece, founded thirteen 
colonies in Asia at one time. They appointed chiefs 
in the several colonies, and gave the supreme 
authority to Ion, the son of Xuthus and Creusa 
(whom Apollo, in his responses at Delphi, had 
declared to be his son).^ He led the colonies into 
Asia and seized the territory of Caria. There he 
established the large cities of Ephesus, Miletus, 
My us 2 (of Avhich, being swallowed up in marshy 
ground, the worships and vote in the League were 
transferred to Miletus), Priene, Samos, Teos, Colo- 
phon, Chios, Erythrae, Phocaea, Clazomenae, Lebe- 
dos, Melite. Against Melite, because of the inso- 
lence of its citizens, war was declared by the other 
cities, and it was destroyed by general consent. In 
its place, afterwards,^ the city of the Smyrnaeans 
was received among the lonians by the kindness 
of King Attalus and Arsinoe. 5. These cities 
drove out the Carians and Leleges and named 
that region of the eai'th Ionia from their leader 
Ion, and establishing there sanctuaries of the im- 
mortal gods, they began to build temples in them. 
First, to Panionian ^ Apollo they established a temple 

* 3rd century B.C. 

* The Panionium at Mycale was dedicated to Neptune 
(Poseidon). There was another Panionium dedicated to 
Apollo C. I. A. III. 175. 



uti viderant in Achaia, constituei'unt et earn Doricam 
appellaverunt, quod in Dorieon ^ civitatibus primum 

6 factam eo genere viderunt. In ea aede cum voluissent 
columnas conlocare, non habentes symmetrias earum 
et quaerentes quibus vationibus efficere possent, uti 
et ad onus ferenduni essent idoneae et in aspectu 
probatam haberent venustatem, dimensi sunt 
virilis pedis vestigium et id retulerunt in alti- 
tudinem. Cum invenissent pedem sextam partem 
esse altitudinis in homine, item in eolumnam trans- 
tulerunt et, qua crassitudine fecerunt basim scapi, 
tanta sex cum capitulo in altitudinem extulerunt. 
Ita dorica columna virilis corporis proportionem et 
firmitatem et venustatem in aedificiis praestare 

7 Item postea Dianae constituere aedem, quaerentes 
novi generis speciem isdem vestigiis ad muliebrem 
transtulerunt gracilitatem, et fecerunt primum 
columnae crassitudinem octava parte, ut haberet 
speciem excelsiorem. Basi spiram subposuerunt pro 
calceo, capitulo volutas uti capillamento concrispatos 
cincinnos praependentes dextra ac sinistra conloca- 
verunt et cymatiis et encarpis pro crinibus dispositis 
frontes ornaverunt truncoque toto strias ^ uti stolarum 
rugas 3 matronali more dimiserunt, ita duobus dis- 
criminibus columnarum inventionem , unam virili sine 

8 ornatu nudam speciem, alteram muliebri. Subtili- 
tateque iudiciorum progressi et gracilioribus modulis 
delectati septem crassitudinis diametros in altitudi- 
nem columnae doricae, ionicae novem constituerunt. 
Id autem quod lones fecei-unt primo, lonicum est 

^ Dorieon Joe : dorichon H. ^ istrias H. 

^ rugas G : rugus H. 

BOOK IV. c. I. 

as they had seen in Achaia. Then they called it 
Doric because they had first seen it built in that 
style. 6. When they wished to place columns in 
that temple, not having their proportions, and seek- 
ing by what method they could make them fit to 
bear weight, and in their appearance to have an 
approved grace, they measured a man's footstep 
and applied it to his height. Finding that the foot 
was the sixth part of the height in a man, they 
applied this proportion to the column. Of whatever 
thickness they made the base of the shaft they 
raised it along with the capital to six times as nauch 
in height. So the Doric column began to furnish the 
proportion of a man's body, its strength and grace. ^ 
7. Afterwards also seeking to plan a temple of 
Diana in a new kind of style, they changed it to a 
feminine slenderness with the same measurement 
by feet. And first they made the diameter of the 
column the eighth part of it, so that it might appear 
taller. Under the base they placed a con\ ex mould- 
ing as if a shoe ; at the capital they put volutes, like 
graceful curling hair, hanging over right and left. 
And arranging cymatia and festoons in place of 
hair, they ornamented the front, and, over all the 
trunk (^i.e. the shaft), they let fluting fall, hke the 
folds of matronly robes ; thus they proceeded to the 
invention of columns in two manners ; one, manlike 
in appearance, bare, unadorned; the other feminine. 
8. Advancing in the subtlety of their judgments 
and preferring slighter modules, they fixed seven 
measures of the diameter for the heiffht of the 
Doric column, nine for the Ionic. This order because 
the lonians made it first, was named Ionic. 

^ This theory is of late origin. 



Tertium vero, quod Corinthium dioitur, virginalis ^ 
habet gracilitatis imitationem, quod virgines propter 
aetatis teneritateni gracilioribus membris figuratae 
9 effectus recipiunt in ornatu venustiores. Eius autem 
capituli prima inventio sic memoratur esse facta, 
Virgo civis Corinthia iam matura iiuptiis inplicata 
morbo decessit. Post sepulturam eius, quibus ea 
virgo viva poculis delectabatur, nutrix collecta et 
conposita in calatho pertulit ad monumentum et in 
summo conlocavit et, uti ea permanerent diutius 
subdiu, tegula texit. Is calathus fortuito supra 
acanthi radicem fuerit conlocatus. Interim pondere 
pressa radix acanthi ^ media foHa et cauliculos circum 
vernum tempus profudit, cuius cauhculi secundum 
calathi latera crescentes et ab anguUs tegulae pon- 
deris necessitate expressi flexuras in extremas partes 

10 volutarum facere sunt coacti. Tunc Calhmachus 
qui propter elegantiam et subtihtatem artis marmo- 
reae ab Atheniensibus catatechnos fuerat nominatus, 
praeteriens hoc monumentum animadvertit eum 
calathum et circa foHorum nascentem teneritateni, 
delectatusque genere et formae novitate ad id 
exemplar cohmmas apud Corinthios fecit symmetri- 
asque constituit ; ex eo in operis perfectionibus 

11 Coi-inthii generis distribuit rationes. Eius autem 
capituh symmetria sic est facienda, uti, quanta fuerit 
crassitudo imae cohmmae, tanta sit altitude capituli 
cum abaco. Abaci latitude ita habeat rationem, ut, 
quanta fuerit altitude, tanta duo sint diagonia ab 

1 virginales H. ^ achanti H. 

1 Frontispiece. 

BOOK IV. c. I. 

But the third order, which is called Corinthian,^ 
imitates the slight figure of a maiden ; because girls 
are represented with slighter dimensions because of 
their tender age, and admit of more graceful effects 
in ornament. 9. Now the first invention of that 
capital is related to have happened thus. A girl, a 
native of Corinth, already of age to be married, was 
attacked by disease and died. After her funeral, 
the goblets which delighted her when living, were 
put together in a basket by her nurse, cai-ried to 
the monument, and placed on the top. That they 
might remain longer, exposed as they were to the 
weather, she covered the basket with a tile. As it 
happened the basket was placed upon the root of an 
acanthus. Meanwhile about spring time, the root 
of the acanthus, being pressed down in the middle 
by the weight, put forth leaves and shoots. The 
shoots grew up the sides of the basket, and, being 
pressed down at the angles by the force of the 
weight of the tile, were compelled to form the 
curves of volutes at the extreme parts. 10. Then 
Callimachus, who for the elegance and refinement 
of his marble carving was nick-named catatechnos by 
the Athenians, was passing the monument, perceived 
the basket and the young leaves growing up Pleased 
with the style and novelty of the grouping, he made 
columns for the Corinthians on this model and fixed 
the proportions. Thence he distributed the details 
of the Corinthian order throughout the work. 1 1 . The 
proportions of the capital are to be arranged thus. 
The height of the capital with the abacus is to 
equal the diameter of the bottom of the column. 
The width of the abacus is to be so proportioned : the 
diagonal lines from angle to angle are to equal twice 



angulo ad angulum ; spatia enim ita iustas habebunt 
frontes quoquoversiis latitudinis. Frontes simentur 
inti'orsus ab exti'emis angulis abaci suae frontis 
latitudinis nona.^ Ad imum capituli tantam habeat 
crassitudinem, quantam habet summa columna 
praeter apothesim et astragalum. Abaci ^ crassitude 
12 septima capituli altitudinis, Dempta abaci crassitu- 
dine dividatur reliqua pars in partes tres, e quibus 
una imo folio detur ; secundum folium mediam 
altitudinem teneat; coliculi^ eandem habeant 
altitudinem, e quibus folia nascuntur proiecta, uti 
excipiant quae ex coliculis natae procurrunt ad 
extremes angulos volutae ; minoresque helices intra 
suum medium, qui est in abaco ; flores subiecti 
scalpantur. Flores in quattuor partibus, quanta 
erit abaci crassitudo, tarn magni formentur. Ita 
his symmetriis corinthia capitula suas habebunt 

Sunt autem, quae isdem columnis inponuntur, 
capitulorum genera variis vocabulis nominata, quorum 
nee proprietates symmetriarum nee columnarum 
genus aliud nominare possumus, sed ipsorum vocabula 
traducta et commutata ex corinthiis et pulvinatis et 
doricis videmus, quorum symmetriae sunt in nov arum 
scalpturarum translatae subtilitatem. 

1 nona Joe : non //. 

" astragalum. Abaci Joe : abaci astragalum //. 

^ coaliculi H. 


BOOK IV. c. I. 

the height of the capital. Thus the front elevations 
in every direction, will have the right breadth. Let 
the faces be curved inward from the extreme angles 
of the abacus the ninth part of the breadth of the 
face. At the lowest part, let the capital have the 
diameter of the top of the column, excluding the 
curving away of the column into the capital, and 
the astragal.^ The thickness of the abacus is one 
seventh of the height of the capital. 12. Taking 
away the thickness of the abacus, let the remainder 
be divided into three parts, of which let one be 
given to the lowest leaf. Let the second leaf have 
two thirds. Let the stalks have the same height, 
and let leaves arise from these, projecting to receive 
the volutes which rise from the stalks and run out 
to the extreme angles. Let smaller spirals be 
carved running up to the flower which is in the 
middle of the abacus. On the four sides let flowers 
be carved, their width being equal to the height 
of the abacus. With these proportions, Corinthian 
capitals will have their appropriate execution. 

There are other ^ kinds of capitals variously named 
which are placed upon these same columns. We 
cannot name their special proportions nor the style 
of the columns in any other manner. We observe 
that even their names are transferred and changed 
from the Corinthian, Pulvinate and Doric styles, 
the proportions of which are transferred to the 
refinements of these novel sculptures. 

1 See Plate D. 

^ The varieties of the Corinthian capital passed by easy 
stages to the Gothic capital. Timgad in the second cent. A. d. 
shows many forms. The Byzantine sculptors gave a convex 
form to the Corinthian capital as at San Vitale, Ravenna. 




1 QuoNiAM autem de generibus columnarum origines 
et inventiones supra sunt, scriptae, non alienum mihi 
videtur isdem rationibus de ornamentis eorum, quem- 
admodum sunt prognata et quibus principiis et 
originibus inventa, dicere. In aedificiis omnibus 
insuper conlocatur materiatio variis vocabulis nomi- 
nata. Ea autem uti in nominationibus, ita in res 
varias habet utilitates. Trabes enim supra columnas 
et parastaticas et antas ponuntur ; in contignationibus 
tigna et axes ; sub tectis, si maiora spatia sunt, et 
transtra et capreoli/ si commoda, columen, et can- 
therii prominentes ad extremam suggrundationem ; 
supra cantherios templa ; deinde insuper sub tegulas 
asseres ita prominentes, uti parietes proteeturis 

2 eorum tegantur. Ita unaquaeque res et locum et 
genus et ordinem proprium tuetur. E quibus rebus 
et a materiatura fabrili in lapideis et marmoreis 
aedium sacrarum aedifieationibus ai'tifices disposi- 
tiones eorum scalpturis sunt imitati et eas inventiones 
persequendas putaverunt. Ideo, quod antiqui fabri 
quodam in loco aedificantes, cum ita ab interioribus 
parietibus ad extremas partes tigna prominentia 
habuissent conlocata, inter tigna struxerunt supraque 
coronas et fastigia venustiore specie fabrilibus operi- 
bus ornaverunt, tum proiecturas tignorum, quantum 

1 capreoli G : -lis H. 

1 Cf. Book I. i. 5. 

2 The influence of wood details upon stonework is un- 

BOOK IV. c. II. 


1. Now since the origins and discovery of the 
orders of columns have been described above, it does 
not seem foreign to my pm-pose if I speak in the 
same way about their ornaments : how they came 
about, and from what principles and origins they 
were invented.^ In all buildings timbering ,2 called by 
various names, is used in the upper parts ; as in name, 
so in practice, it has uses for various things. Beams 
are placed on columns, pilasters and responds. In 
floors there are joists and planks. Under roofs, if 
the spans are considerable, both cross pieces and 
stays ; if of moderate size, a ridge piece with rafters 
projecting to the edge of the eaves. Above the 
principal rafters, purlins ; then above, under the 
tiles, rafters which overhang so that the walls are 
covered by the eaves.^ 2. So each scantling pre- 
serves its proper place and style and arrangement. 
In view of these things and of carpenter's work 
generally, craftsmen imitated such arrangements in 
sculpture when they built temples of stone and 
marble. For they thought these models worth 
following up. Thus workmen of old, building in 
various places, when they had put beams reaching 
from the inner walls to the outside parts, built in 
the spaces between the beams ; above through their 
craftsmanship, they ornamented the cornices and 
gables with a more graceful effect. Then they cut 
off the projections of the beams, as far as they came 

* Protectura for eaves is probably right : protect um is used 
in this sense. 



eminebant, ad lineam et perpendiculum parietum 
praesecuerunt, quae species cum invenusta is visa 
esset, tabellas ita formatas, uti nunc fiunt triglyphi, 
contra tignorum praecisiones in fronte fixerunt et 
eas cera caerulea depinxei'unt, ut praecisiones tigno- 
rum tectae non ofFenderent visum ita divisiones 
tignorum tectae triglyphorum dispositionem et inter 
tigna metoparum ^ habere in doricis operibus coe- 

3 perunt. Postea alii in aliis operibus ad perpendiculum 
triglyphorum cantherios prominentes proiecerunt 
eorumque proiecturas simaverunt. Ex eo, uti 
tignorum dispositionibus ti-iglyphi, ita e cantheriorum 
proiecturismutulorum sub coronulis^ ratio est inventa. 
Ita fere in operibus lapideis et marmoreis mutuli 
inclinatis scalpturis deformantur, quod imitatio est 
cantheriorum ; etenim necessario propter stillicidia 
proclinati conlocantur. Ergo et triglyphorum et 
mutulorum in doricis operibus ratio ex ^ ea imitatione 
inventa est. 

4 Non enim, quemadmodum nonnulli errantes dixe- 
runt fenestrarum imagines esse triglyphos, ita potest 
esse, quod in angulis contraque tetrantes columnarum 
triglyphi constituuntur , quibus in locis omnino non pati- 
tur res fenestras fieri. Dissolvuntur enim angulorum 
in aedificiis iuncturae, si in is fenestrarum fuerint 
lumina relicta. Etiamque ubi nunc triglyphi consti- 
tuuntur, si ibi luminum spatia fuisse iudicabuntur, 
isdem rationibus denticuli * in ionicis fenestrarum 
occupavisse loca videbuntur. Utraque ^ enim, et 
inter denticulos et inter triglyphos quae sunt inter- 
valla, metopae ^ nominantur. Opas enim Graeci 

1 intertignum et oparum H : inter tigna Gr. 
- coronulis H : c/. Vulg. ^ es. G : & H. 

* denticuli ed. Fl : denticulis H. 



BOOK IV. c. II. 

forward, to the line and perpendicular of the walls. 
But since this appearance was ungraceful, they fixed 
tablets shaped as triglyphs now are, against the cut- 
off beams, and painted them with blue wax, in order 
that the cut-off beams might be concealed so as not 
to offend the eyes. Thus in Doric structures, the 
divisions of the beams bein^ hidden bcffan to have 
the arrangement of the triglyphs, and, between the 
beams, of metopes. 3. Subsequently other architects 
in other works carried forward over the triglyphs 
the projecting rafters, and trimmed the projections. 
Hence just as triglyphs came by the treatment of 
the beams, so from the projections of the rafters the 
detail of the mutules under the cornices was invented. 
Thus generally in buildings of stone and marble the 
mutules are modelled with sloping carving ; and this 
imitates the rafters. For they are necessarily put 
sloping because of the rainfall. Therefore in the 
Doric style the detail both of the triglyphs and 
of the mutules arose from this imitation of timber 

4. For it cannot be that triglyphs are representa- 
tions of windows (as some have mistakenly said). 
For triglyphs are placed at the angles of the front, 
and over the centre of columns ; where generally it 
is impossible for windows to be made. For the 
bond at the angles of buildings is desti'oyed, if win- 
dow lights are left there. And also if window lights 
ai-e considered to have been where now triglyphs are 
placed, in the same way dentils in Ionic buildings 
will seem to have taken the place of windows. For 
the intervals, which are both between dentils and 
between triglyphs, are called metopae. For the 

^ utraque Joe : utrique H. * metophe H. 



tignorum cubicula et asserum appellant, uti nostri ea 
cava 1 columbaria. Ita quod inter duas opas est 
intertignium,- id metope est apud eos nominata. 

5 Ita uti autem in doricis triglyphorum et mutu- 
lorum est inventa ratio, item in ionicis denticulorum 
constitutio propriam in operibus habet rationem, et 
quemadmodum mutuli cantherioruni proiecturae 
ferunt ^ imaginem, sic in ionicis denticuli "* ex pro- 
iecturis asserum habent imitationem. Itaque in 
graecis operibus nemo sub mutulo denticulos consti- 
tuit ; non enim possunt subtus cantherios asseres 
esse. Quod ergo supra cantherios et templa in veri- 
tatem debet esse conlocatum, id in imaginibus si 
infra constitutum fuerit, mendosam habebit operis 
rationem. Etiam quod antiqui non probaverunt, 
neque instituerunt in fastigiis {mutulos aut)^ denti- 
culos fieri sed puras coronas, ideo quod nee cantherii 
nee asseres contra fastigiorum frontes distribuuntur 
nee possunt prominere, sed ad stillicidia ^ proclinati 
conlocantur. Ita quod non potest in veritate fieri, 
id non putaverunt in imaginibus factum posse certam 

6 rationem habere. Omnia enim certa proprietate et 
a veris naturae deducta "^ moribus transduxerunt in 
operum perfectiones, et ea probaverunt, quorum ex- 
plicationes in disputationibus rationem possunt 
habere veritatis. Itaque ex eis originibus symme- 
trias et proportiones uniuscuiusque generis constitu- 

^ cava rec : caba H. 

^ opas est intertignium Joe : ophas et intertignum H. 

* ferunt G : fuerunt H. 

* denticuli ex Joe : denticulis et H. 
^ add. Phil. * stillicia H. 

^ deducta rec : -tis H. 

^ This rule is specially insisted on by critics of architecture. 

BOOK IV. c. II. 

Greeks ^ive the name of opae to the beds of beams 
and i-afters ; as our people call them hollow mortices. 
So the space between the two opae is called metopa 
among the Greeks. 

5. In the Doric order, the detail of the triglyphs 
and mutules was invented with a purpose. Simi- 
larly in Ionic buildings, the placing of the dentils, 
has its appropriate intention. And just as in the 
Doric order the mutules have been the representa- 
tion of the projecting principal rafters, so, in the 
case of Ionic dentils, they also imitate the projec- 
tion of the ordinary rafters. Therefore in Greek 
works no one puts dentils under a mutule.^ For 
ordinary rafters cannot be put beneath principals. 
For if what ought to be placed above principals and 
purlins in reality is placed below them in the imita- 
tion, the treatment of the work will be faulty. ^ 
Further, as to the ancients neither approving nor 
arranging that in the pediments there should be 
either mutules or dentils, but plain cornices, this 
was because neither principals nor rafters are fixed 
to project on the front of gables, but are placed 
sloping down to the eaves. Thus what cannot happen 
in reality cannot (they thought) be correctly treated 
in the imitation. 6. For, by an exact fitness deduced 
from the real laws of nature, they adapted every- 
thing to the perfection of their work, and approved 
what they could show by argument, to follow the 
method of reality. And so they handed down the 
symmetry and proportions of each order as deter- 

2 Vitruvius holds that Symbolism should be consistent. 
It is because the later architects of the Renaissance used 
architectural forms without regard to their meaning that the 
purists denounced some lovely buildings. 



tas reliquerunt. Quorum ingressus persecutus de 
ionicis et corinthiis institutionibus supra dixi ; nunc 
vero doricam rationem summamque eius speciem 
breviter exponam. 


1 NoNNULLi antiqui architecti negaverunt dorico 
genere aedes sacras oportere fieri, quod mendosae 
et disconvenientes in his symmetriae confieiebantur. 
Itaque negavit Arcesius,^ item Pythius,^ non minus 
Hermogenes. Nam is cum paratam habuisset mar- 
moris copiam in doricae aedis perfectionem, commu- 
tavit ex eadem copia et eam ionicam Libero Pati-i 
fecit. Sed tamen non quod invenusta est species 
aut genus aut formae dignitas, sed quod inpedita 
est distributio et incommoda in opere triglyphorum 

2 et lacunariorum distributione. Namque necesse est 
triglyphos constitui contra medios tetrantes columna- 
rum, metopasque, quae inter triglyphos fient, aeque 
longas esse quam altas. Contraque in angulares 
columnas triglyphi in extremis partibus constituuntur 
et non contra medios tetrantes. Ita metopae quae 
proximae ad angulares triglyphos fiunt, non exeunt 
quadratae sed oblongiores triglyphi dimidia latitu- 
dine.^ At qui metopas aequales volunt facere, inter- 
columnia extrema contrahunt triglyphi dimidia lati- 
tudine.^ Hoc autem, sive in metoparum longitudini- 

^ Arcesius Ro : tarchesius H. 

^ pytheus H. ^ latitudine Phil. 

* latitudine H' : altitudine H. 

1 Arcesius wrote upon the Corinthian order Book VII. 
pref. 12. 


BOOK IV. c. ii.-c. III. 

mined from these beginnings. Following their foot- 
steps I have spoken above of the Ionic and Corinthian 
orders, but now I shall briefly set forth the Doric 
manner and its general form. 



1. Some ancient architects have said that temples 
should not be constructed in the Doric style, because 
faulty and unsuitable correspondence arose in them ; 
for example Arcesius,^ Pythius,^ and especially 
Hermogenes. For the last named after preparing 
a supply of marble for a temple in the Doric style, 
changed over, using the same marble, and built 
an Ionic temple to Father Bacchus ^ not because 
the form or style or dignity of the plan is dis- 
pleasing, but because the distribution of the 
triglyphs and soffits is confused and inconvenient. 
2. For it is necessary that the triglyphs should be 
placed over the middle quadrants of the columns, 
and that the metopes which are constructed between 
the triglyphs should be as broad as they are high. 
On the other hand, the triglyphs against the corner 
columns are placed at their furthest edge, and not 
against the middle of the columns. Thus the metopes 
which are made next to the corner triglyphs do not 
come out square but oblong by half the breadth of 
a triglyph. But those who wish to make the metopes 
equal contract the extreme intercolumniations by 
half the breadth of a triglyph. Whether the work 

^ Vitruvius' chief authorities were Pythius and Hermogenes. 
* At Teos, Book VII. pref. 12. 



bus sive intercolumniorum contractionibus efficietur, 
est mendosuni. Quapropter antiqui vitare visi sunt 
in aedibus sacris doricae symmetriae rationem. 

3 Nos autem exponimus, uti ordo postulat, quem- 
admodum a praeceptoribus accepimus, uti, si qui 
voluerit his rationibus adtendens ita ingredi, habeat 
proportiones explicatas, quibus eniendatas et sine 
vitiis efficere possit aediuni sacrarum dorico more 
perfectiones. Frons aedis doricae in loco, quo 
columnae constituuntur, dividatur, si tetrastylos erit, 
in partes xxvii, si hexastylos, xxxxii.^ Ex his pars 
una erit modulus, qui Graece embater ^ dicitur, cuius 
moduli constitutione ratiocinationibus efHciuntur 

4 omnis operis distributiones. Crassitudo columnarum 
erit duorum modulorum, altitudo cum capitulo 
xiiii. Capituli crassitudo unius moduli, latitude 
duorum et moduli sextae partis. Crassitudo capituli 
dividatur in partes tres, e quibus una plinthus cum 
cymatio fiat, altera echinus cum anulis, tertia hypo- 
trachelion.^ Contrahatur columna ita, uti in tertio 
libro de ionicis est scriptum. Epistylii altitudo unius 
moduli cum taenia et guttis ; taenia moduli septima ; 
guttarum longitudo sub taenia contra triglyphos alta 
cum regula parte sexta moduli praependeat. Item 
epistylii * latitudo ima respondeat hypotrachelio 
summae columnae. Supra epistylium conlocandi 
sunt triglyphi cum suis metopis, alti unius <(et)> ^ 

1 xxvn . . . xxxxii Phil : xxvin . . . xxxn H. 

^ cf. I. ii. 4 : embates H. 

^ hypotrachelion Phil : ypotrachelio H. 

* epistyliis H. * add. Joe. 

^ Sometimes the diameter equals one module. III. ill. 7. 

BOOK IV. c. in. 

proceeds by lengthening the metopes or contracting 
the intercolumniations, it is faulty. Hence the 
ancients, as it seems, avoided the Doric order in 

3. Now we, following the arrangement demanded 
in accordance with the instruction of our masters, 
proceed in such a way that, if the reader will con- 
form to our methods, he may find those proportions 
set forth by which he can carry out temples in the 
Doric style faultless and without blemish. The 
front of a Doric temple is to be divided along the 
line where columns are set, into 27 parts if it is 
tetrastyle, into 42 parts if it is hexastyle. Of these 
one part will be the module (which in Greek is 
called embater) and when this is determined, the 
distribution of all the work is produced by multiples 
of it. 4. The diameter of the columns will be two 
modules,^ the height including the capital 14, the 
height of the capital is one module, the width two 
modules and a sixth. The height of the capital is 
to be divided into three parts, of which one is to 
be the abacus with the cymatium ; the second the 
echinus with fillets ; the third the necking. The 
column is to be diminished as directed for the Ionic 
order in the third book. The height of the archi- 
trave is to be one module including the taenia and 
guttae ; the taenia is to be the seventh part of a 
module ; the length of the guttae under the taenia 
corresponds to the triglyphs, and is to hang down, 
including the fillet, the sixth part of a module. The 
breadth also of the architrave at the soffit is to 
correspond to the necking of the column at the top. 
Above the architrave are to be placed the triglyphs 
with the metopes ; the triglyphs being a iBodule 


dimidiati moduli, lati in fronte unius moduli, ita 
divisi, ut in angularibus columnis et in mediis contra 
tetrantes medios sint conlocati, et intercolumniis 
reliquis bini,^ in mediis pi'onao et postico terni. Ita 
relaxatis mediis intervallis sine inpeditionibus aditus 

6 accedentibus erit ad deorum simulacra. Triglypho- 
rum latitudo dividatur in partes sex, ex quibus 
quinque partibus in medio, duae dimidiae dextra ac 
sinistra designentur regula. Una in medio de- 
formetur femur, quod Graece vieros ^ dicitur ; secun- 
dum eam canaliculi ad normae cacumen inprimantur ; 
ex ordine eorum ^ dextra ac sinistra altera femina 
constituantur ; in extremis partibus semicanaliculi 
intervertantur. Triglyphis ita conlocatis, metopae 
quae sunt inter triglyphos,'* aeque altae sint quam 
longae ; item in extremis angulis semimetopia ^ sint 
inpressa dimidia moduli latitudine. Ita enim erit, 
ut omnia vitia et metoparum et intercolumniorum et 
lacunariorum, quod aequales divisiones factae erunt, 

6 emendentur. Triglyphi capitula sexta parte moduli 
sunt faciunda. Supra triglyphorum capitula corona 
est conlocanda in proiectura dimidiae et sextae 
partis ^ habens cymatium doricum in imo, alterum 
in summo. Item cum cymatiis corona crassa ex 
dimidia moduli. Dividendae autem sunt in corona "^ 
ima ad perpendiculum triglyphorum et medias meto- 
pas viarum derectiones et guttarum distributiones, 

^ bini Joe : binis H. ^ fi-qpos Joe : eros H. 

^ eoriim Joe : earum H. * inter glyphos H. 

^ semimetopia Joe : semi memphia H. 
* sextae partis rec : sextae parte H G. 
' corona : columna //. 

^ The meaning of via is uncertain ; it probably denotes the 
spaces between the mutules. 

BOOK IV. c. HI. 

and a half high and one module wide in front, and 
so distributed that in the columns both at the corners 
and in the middle, they are placed over the centres. 
In the middle intercolumniations of the front and 
back there are to be three, in the other intercolumnia- 
tions there are to be two triglyphs. The middle 
intercolumniations are to be thus widened so that 
for those who are approaching the statues of the 
gods there may be an uninterrupted approach. 
5. The width of the triglyphs is to be divided into 
six parts, of Avhich five parts are to be in the 
middle, and two halves right and left are to be 
marked by the length of the fillet. The part in the 
middle is to be shaped flat as the thigh (which in 
Greek is called meros). Parallel channels are to be 
sunk with sides meeting in a right angle. To the 
right and left of them, in order, other flat surfaces 
or thighs are to be put. At the furthest edges, 
half channels are to be put. After placing the 
triglyphs, the metopes which separate them, are 
to be made as high as they are long. Further, 
at the extreme cornei-s, half metopes are to be 
made half a module wide. Hence the divisions 
will be made uniform and all the faults, both of 
metopes and intercolumniations and soffits, will be 
removed. 6. The capitals of the triglyphs are to be 
made of the sixth part of a module. Above the 
capitals of the triglyphs, the cornice is to be placed 
projecting two thirds of a module, with a Doric 
cymatium below and another at the top. Further, 
with the cymatia, the cornice will be half a module 
high. Now in the lowest part of the cornice, above 
the triglyphs and the middle of the metopes, the 
lines of the viae ^ and the rows of the guttae are to 



ita uti guttae sex in longitudinem, tres in latitudinem 
pateant. Reliqua spatia, quod latiores sint metopae 
quam triglyphi, pura relinquantur aut numina ^ 
scalpantur, ad ipsumque mentum coronae incidatur 
linea quae scotia dicitur. Reliqua omnia, tympana, 
simae,^ coronae, quemadmodum supra scriptum est 
in ionicis, ita perficiantur. 

7 Haec ratio in operibus diastylis ^ erit constituta. 
Si vero systylon et monotriglyphon opus erit faci- 
undum, fi'ons aedis, si tetrastylo erit, dividatur in 
partes xviiii s,^ si hexastylos erit, dividatur in partes 
xxviiii s. Ex his pars una erit modulus, ad quern, 

8 uti supra scriptum est, dividantur. Ita supra singula 
epistylia et metopae ^ et triglyphi bini erunt conlo- 
candi ; in angularibus hoc amplius, quantum dimi- 
diatum est spatium hemitriglyphi, id accedit. In 
mediano ^ contra fastigium trium triglyphorum et 
trium metoparum spatium distabit, quod latius 
medium intercolumnium accedentibus ad aedem 
habeat laxamentum et adversus simulacra deorum 
aspectus dignitatem. 

9 Columnas autem striari xx striis oportet. Quae si 
planae erunt, angulos habeant xx designatos. Sin 
autem excavabuntur, sic est forma facienda, ita uti 
quam magnum est intervallum striae, tam magnis 
striaturae paribus lateribus quadratum describatur ; 

^ numina Gr : flumina H cf. miminum simulacra Tac. 
A. I 73, effigies numiinim. .4. I 10 ; IIT 71. 

^ simae Joe : et imae H. ^ diastylis ed : -liis H. 

* XVIIII s . . . XXVIIII s Barharus : xviii . . . xxviiii H. 
^ metopae Joe : metopha //. 

* [habens — perpendiculum] H ex 6 supra, moduli om. H. 



be divided so that there are six guttae in the length 
and three in the breadth. The remaining spaces, 
because the metopes are broader than triglyphs, are 
to be left plain, or divine images are to be carved; 
and at the very edge of the cornice a line is to be 
cut in which is called the scotia. All the rest — 
namely the field of the pediment, the cymas, the 
cornices — are to be finished as prescribed above for 
Ionic buildings. 

7. Such is the method that will be appointed for 
diastyle works. But if the work is to be systyle and 
with single triglyphs, the front of a tetrastyle temple 
is to be divided into nineteen and a half parts ; of a 
hexastyle temple into twenty nine and a half parts. 
Of these one part will be the module according to 
which they are to be divided, as written above. ^ 
8. Thus above the single architraves, two metopes 
and two triglyphs are to be placed. At the angles ^ 
in addition, as much as is half a triglyph is put. 
Against the middle of the pediment, a space will 
intervene of three triglyphs and three metopes, in 
order that the middle intercolumniation, being 
broader, may give room to persons approaching the 
temple, and furnish a dignified appearance as one 
goes to meet the Image of the God. 

9. The columns ought to be fluted with 20 flutes.^ 
If the flutes are flat, the columns must have 20 
vertical edges marked. But if the flutes are hollow, 
we must fix their form in this way : draw a square 
with equal sides as great as is the width of the fluting. 

^ The module for Doric buildings is half a diameter, § 3. 
2 See Plate E. 

* The old, and present, Parthenon have 20 flutes on the 



in medio autem quadrato circini centrum ^ conlocetur 
at agatur linea rotundationis, quae quadrationis 
angulos tangat, et quantum ei'it cui'vaturae inter 
rotundationem et quadratam deseriptionem, tantum 
ad formam excaventur. Ita dorica columna sui 

10 generis striaturae habebit perfectionem. De adiee- 
tione eius, qua media adaugetur, uti in tertio volu- 
mine de ionicis est perscripta, ita et in his trans- 

' fei'atur. 

Quoniam exterior species symmetriarum et corin- 
thiorum et doricorum et ionicorum est perscripta, 
necesse est etiam interiores eellarum pronaique 
distributiones explicare. 


1 DiSTRiBUiTUR autem longitudo aedis, uti latitudo 
sit longitudinis dimidiae partis, ipsaque cella parte 
quarta longior sit, quam est latitudo, cum pariete 
qui paries valvarum habuerit ^ conlocationem. Reli- 
quae tres partes pronai ad antas parietum procurrant, 
quae antae columnarum crassitudinem habere de- 
bent. Et si aedes erit latitudine maior quam 
pedes XX, duae columnae inter duas antas inter- 
ponantur, quae disiungant pteromatos ^ et pronai 
spatium. Item intercolumnia tria quae erunt inter 
antas * et columnas, pluteis marmoreis sive ex in- 

^ centrum S E : centum H. 
^ habuerit G : hab&erit H. 
^ pteromotos H. * inter interantas H. 


BOOK IV. c. iii.-c. IV. 

Now in the middle of the square the centre of a circle 
is to be placed, and let a circle be described which 
touches the angles of the square ; and the curve which 
comes between the circumference and the side of 
the square, will give the hollow of the flutes. Thus 
the Doric column will have the fluting proper to its 
order. 10. Concerning the entasis of the column by 
which it is increased in the middle, the method 
prescribed in the third book for the Ionic order is 
to be imitated in the case of the Doric order. 

Inasmuch as the external appearance of the 
symmetries of the Corinthian and Doric and Ionic 
orders has been described, we must proceed to 
explain the interior distribution of the apartments 
of the temple, and also of the approach to the temple. 



1. The length of the temple is so arranged that 
the breadth is half the length. The cella itself is 
to be a fourth part longer than its breadth, including 
the wall which contains the doors. The remaining 
three parts, that is, the portico, are to run forward 
to the antae of the walls. The antae ought to have 
the thickness of the columns. If the temple be 
more than 20 feet in breadth, between the two 
antae two columns are to be placed and these 
columns are to separate the portico and the pteroma.^ 
Between the three intercolumniations, which will 
come between the antae and the columns, let there 

^ Book III. ill. 9; the colonnade which surrounds the 



testino opere factis intercludantur, ita uti fores 

2 habeant, per quas itinera pronao fiant. Item si 
maior erit latitude quam pedes xl, columnae contra 
regiones ^ eolumnarum, quae inter antas sunt, 
introrsus conlocentur. Et hae altitudinem habeant 
aeque quam quae sunt in fronte, crassitudines autem 
earum extenuentur his rationibus, uti, si octava 
parte erunt quae sunt in fronte, hae fiant x parte, 
sin autem vim aut decima, pro rata parte. ^ In 
concluso enim acre si quae extenuatae erunt, non 
discernentur. Sin autem videbuntur graciUores, 
cum exterioribus fuerint striae <(xx aut) ^ xxiiii, in 
his faciendae erunt xx'viii aut xxxii. Ita quod detra- 
hitur de corpore scapi, striarum numero adiecto 
adaugebitur ratione, quo minus videtur, et ita 
exaequabitur dispari ratione cohmmarum crassitudo. 

3 Hoc auteni efficit ea ratio, quod oculus plura et 
crebriora signa * tangendo maiore visus circuitione 
pervagatur. Namque si duae columnae aeque 
crassae lineis circummetientur, e quibus una sit non 
striata, altera striata, et circa striglium cava et 
angulos striarum linea corpora tangat, tametsi colum- 
nae aeque crassae fuerint, lineae, quae circumdatae 
erunt, <(non erunt) ^ aequales, quod striarum et stri- 
glium circuitus maiorem efficit lineae longitudinem. 
Sin autem hoc ita videbitur, non est alienum in 
angustis locis et in concluso spatio graciliores eolum- 
narum symmetrias in opere constituere, cum habe- 

4 amus adiutricem striatarum ^ temperaturam. Ipsius 

^ regiones rec : religiones R. ^ parte Ho : partes H. 

* add. Meister. * signa rec : signat H. 

* add. Joe. * striarum ed : striatarum H. 

1 Varro R.R.IU. i. 10; Plin. N.H. XVI. 225. 

BOOK IV. c. IV. 

be a fence of marble or of fine joinery ^ with gates ^ 
by which the portico may be entered. 2. Also if 
the breadth be more than 40 feet, columns are to 
be placed towards the inner part, in a direct line 
with those which are between the pilasters. These 
other columns are to have the same height as those 
in front, but their diameters are to be lessened in 
the following manner : if the diameter of the front 
columns is one eighth of their height, the side 
diameters are to be one tenth ; if the front diameter 
is one ninth or one tenth, then proportionately. For 
being diminished in an enclosed space, they will not 
be remarked. But if they should seem too slender 
they may have 28 or 32 flutes against the outside 
20 or 24. Thus what is taken from the diameter 
of the shaft will be added by the extra number of 
the flutes, so as not be observed. In this way the 
varying diameter of the columns will be balanced. 
3. This effect is produced for the following reason. 
The eye thus touches a greater number of points,^ 
and ranges over a larger circumference of vision. 
For if two columns of equal diameter, of which one 
is fluted and the other is not, have a line measured 
round them and one line touches the shafts of the 
columns round the flutes and their fillets, although 
the columns are of equal diameter, the bounding 
lines will not be equal because the circuit of the 
fillets and the flutes produces a greater length of 
line. Now if this shall seem to be the case, it is 
not inappropriate, in narrow places and a confined 
space, to use in building more slender proportions 
for the columns, since we have the adjustment of 
the fluting to help us. 4. The thickness of the walls 

* Not doors. ^ Perspective again. 



autem celiac parietum crassitudinem pro rata parte 
magnitudinis ^ fieri oportet, dum antae eorum crassi- 
tudinibus columnarum sint aequales. Et si ex- 
tructi futuri sunt, quam minutissimis caementis 
struantur, sin autem quadrato saxo aut marmore, 
maxime modicis paribusque videtur esse faciundum, 
quod media coagmenta medii lapides continentes 
firmiorem facient omnis operis perfectionem. Item 
cii'cum coagmenta et cubilia eminentes expressiones 
graphicoteran efficient in aspectu delectationem. 


1 Region'es autem, quas debent spectare aedes 
sacrae deorum inmortalium, sic erunt constituendae, 
uti, si nulla ratio inpedierit liberaque fuerit potestas, 
aedis signumque quod erit in cella ^ conlocatum, 
spectet ad vespertinam caeli regionem, uti, qui 
adierint ad aram immolantes ^ aut sacrificia facientes, 
spectent ad partem caeli orientis et simulacrum, 
quod erit in aede, et ita vota suscipientes contue- 
antur aedem^ et orientem caelum ipsaque simulacra 
videantur exorientia contueri supplicantes et sacri- 
ficantes, quod aras omnes deorum necesse esse 

2 videatur ad orientem spectare. Sin autem loci 
natura interpellaverit, tunc convertendae sunt earum 
regionum constitutiones, uti quam plurima pars 
moenium e templis eorum conspiciatur. Item si 
secundum flumina aedis sacra fiet, ita uti Aegypto 

1 magnitudines H. ^ cella rec : cellae H. 

^ immolantis' /?. * eadem H : aedem G. 

^ Caelus is masc. and a god. Cic. N.D. III. 55 ff . 

BOOK IV. c. iv.-c. V. 

of the cella itself ought to be proportionate to its 
dimensions, provided that the antae (front pilasters) 
are equal to the diameter of the columns, and if the 
walls are continued into the pilasters, they are to 
be of very small stones. But if the antae are built 
of square stone or marble, the pieces should be of 
moderate and equal size. For the middle of the 
stones in the course above will bind together the 
joints below them and will strengthen the execution 
of the whole work. Further, the raised pointing 
about the upright and bed joints will produce a more 
picturesque effect in the general view. 



1. The aspects which the sacred temples of the 
immortal gods ought to regard are so to be appointed 
(if no reason hinders, and the opportunity is pre- 
sented) that the temple and the Statue Avhich is in 
the shrine look towards the western quarter of the 
sky, so that those who come to the altar to sacrifice 
or make offei'ings may look towards the eastern 
Heaven ^ and the image in the temple. In like 
fashion persons undertaking vows may look upon 
the temple and the eastern Heaven. And the very 
images may seem to rise up and gaze upon those 
who make vows and sacrifices. For all the altars of 
the gods should look to the east. 2. But if the nature 
of the site interferes, the aspect of the temple must 
be so altered that the greatest possible part within 
the walls of the city may be visible from the temples 
of the gods. Also if a sacred temple is raised along 



circa Nilum, ad fluminis ripas videantur ^ spectare 
debere. Similiter si circum vias publicas erunt 
aedificia deorum, ita constituantur, uti praetereuntes 
possint respicere et in conspectu salutationes facere. 


1 OsTioRUM autem et eorum antepagmentorum in 
aedibus hae sunt rationes, uti primum constituantur, 
quo genera sint futurae. Genera sunt enim thyro- 
niaton haec : doi^icum, ionicum, atticurges. 

Horum symmetriae conspiciuntur his rationibus, uti 
corona summa, quae supra antepagmentum superius 
inponetur, aeque librata sit capitulis sunimis co- 
lumnarum quae in pronao fuerint. Lumen autem 
hypaethri constituatur sic, uti quae altitudo aedis a 
pavimento ad lacunaria fuerit, dividatur in partes 
tres semis et ex eis duae partes - <(semis) lumini ^ 
valvarum altitudine constituantur. Haec autem 
dividatur in partes xii et ex eis quinque et dimidia 
latitudo ^ luminis fiat in imo. Et in summo contra- 
hatur, si erit lumen ab in:io ad sedecim pedis, ante- 
pagmenti iii parte ; xvi pedum ad xxv, superior pars 
luminis contrahatur antepagmenti parte iiii ; si 
ab ^ pedibus xxv ad xxx, summa pars contrahatur 
antepagmenti parte viii. Reliqua, quo altiora erunt, 

2 ad perpendiculum videntur oportere conlocari. Ipsa 

^ videatur rec : videantur H, ^ partis H add. Rode. 

^ himini Joe : lumine H. 

* latitudo i7« altitudo a. c. H. 

^ ad pedibus H et a. raf. S. 

^ These were usually of fine joiners' work. 


BOOK IV. c. v.-c. VI. 

the riverside, as by the Nile in Egypt, it ought to 
seem to regard the banks of the river. Likewise if 
the edifices of the gods are about the pubhc thorough- 
fares, they are to be so arranged that the passers-by 
can look aside, and inake their reverence in full 



1. The following are the rules for doorways to 
temples and their architraves. First we must deter- 
mine of what style they are to be. For the styles 
of doorways are these : Doric, Ionic, Attic. 

Of these (as concerns the Doric) the proportions 
are found to be of the following character. The top 
of the cornice which is put above the upper architrave, 
is made level with the tops of the capitals of the 
columns which are in the pronaos. The opening of 
the doorway is to be so determined that the height 
of the temple from the pavement to the panels of 
the ceiling is to be divided into 3| parts, and of 
these 2| in height are to be fixed for the opening of 
the folding doors. ^ Let this in turn be divided into 
12 parts and of these let 5 J be the breadth of the 
opening at the bottom. Let it be diminished at the 
top a third of the width of the architrave, if the 
opening be not more than 16 feet high ; if from 16 
to 25 feet, let the upper part of the opening be con- 
tracted 1/4 of the architrave ; from 25 to 30 feet, 1/8 
of the architraves. Higher openings should have 
perpendicular sides. 2. The architraves ^ themselves 

2 This term is used in modern building to denote the mould- 
ings at the side of the door as Avell as at the top. 



autem antepagmenta contrahantur in svimmo suae 
crassitudinis xiiii parte. Supercilii ci'assitudo, quanta 
antepagnientorum in summa parte erit crassitudo. 
Cyniatium faciundum est antepagnienti parte sexta ; 
proiectura autem, quanta est eius crassitudo. Scul- 
pendum est cyniatium lesbium cum astragalo. Supra 
cymatium quod erit in supercilio, conlocandum est 
hyperthyrum crassitudine supercilii, et in eo scal- 
pendum est cymatium doricum, astragalum lesbium 
sima scalptura. Coi'ona plana cum cymatio ; pi-o- 
iectura autem eius erit quanta altitude. Supercilii, 
quod supra antepagmenta inponitur, dextra atque 
sinistra proiecturae sic sunt faciundae, uti crepidines 
excurrant et in ungue ipso cymatio coniungantur. 

3 Sin autem ionico genere futura erunt, lumen altum 
ad eundem modum quemadmodum in doricis fieri 
videtur. Latitudo constituatur, ut altitudo dividatur 
in partes duas et dimidiam, eiusque partis unius ima 
luminis ^ fiat latitudo. Contracturae ita uti in dori- 
cis. Crassitudo antepagmentorum <(ex)> ^ altitudine 
luminis in fronte xiiii parte, cymatium huius crassi- 
tudinis sexta. Reliqua pars praeter cymatium divi- 
ditur in partes xii. Harum ^ trium prima corsa fiat 
cum astragalo, secunda quattuor, tertia quinque, et 
eae ■* aeque corsae cum astragalis circumcurrant. 

4 Hyperthyra ^ autem ad eundem modum componan- 
tur quemadmodum in doricis pro ratis ^ pedibus. 
Ancones, sive parotides ' vocantur, excalpta dextra 
ac sinistra praependeant ad imi supercilii libra- 

^ ima luminis G simalum in his H. ^ ex add. Kr. 

^ harum Joe : horum x. * et eae Ro : ex ea H. 

^ hyperthyra Joe : hypetra H. * pro ratis Ro : protis H. 

' parotides Schn : protides H. 

Lit. " ear-pieces. 


BOOK IV. c. VI. 

are to be contracted 1/14 part of their width at the 
top. The height of the hntel is to be the same as 
that of the architraves at the top. The cymatium 
(ogee) should be made one sixth of the architrave, 
projecting the amount of its thickness. It is to 
be carved in the Lesbian form with an astragal. 
Above the cymatium of the Hntel, the frieze is to 
be placed as deep as the lintel ; and on it is to be 
carved a Doric cymatium and a Lesbian astragal 
in low relief. Over this the cornice is to be carved 
without ornament and with a cymatium ; its pro- 
jection is to be as much as its height. To the right 
and left of the lintel, which is placed above the 
jambs, projections are to be made so that the bases 
run out, and are exactly joined to the cymatium 
with a mitre. 

3. If the doorways are to be of the Ionic style, 
the opening must be of a height determined as in 
the Doric style. Let the breadth be determined, 
so that the height is divided into 2| parts, and let 
the breadth of the opening at the bottom be one 
part. The contractions are to be as in the Doric. 
The width of the architrave is to be 1/14 of the 
height of the opening in front ; the cymatium is to 
be 1/6 of the width of the architrave. The remainder, 
excluding the cymatium, is divided into 12 parts. 
The first fascia with the astragal is to be three parts 
of these ; the second, of four parts ; the third, of 
five parts. The fasciae with the astragal are to run 
evenly round the architrave. 4. The tops of the 
doorways are as in the Doric style, with the pro- 
portionate dimensions. Brackets (or, as they are 
called, parotides ^) are to be carved right and left 
and to hang over to the level of the bottom of the 



mentum, praeter folium. Eae habeant in fronte 
crassitudineni <(ex) antepagmenti ^ tribus partibus, 
in imo quarta parte graciliore quam superiora. 

Fores ita compingantur, uti scapi cardinales sint ex 
latitudine luminis totius xii pai-te. Inter duos scapos 
tympana ex xii partibus habeant ternas partes. 

5 Inpagibus ^ distributiones ita fient, uti divisis alti- 
tudinibus in partes v duae superiori, tres inferiori 
designentur. Super medium medii inpages conlo- 
centur, ex reliquis alii in summo, alii in imo com- 
pingantur. Altitudo inpagis fiat tympani tertia 
parte, cymatium sexta parte inpagis. Scaporum 
latitudines inpagis dimidia parte, item replum de 
inpage dimidia et sexta parte. Scapi, qui sunt 
secundum antepagmentum,^ dimidium inpagis consti- 
tuantur. Sin autem valvatae erunt, altitudines ita 
manebunt, in latitudinem adiciatur amplius foris 
latitudo. Si quadriforis futura est, altitudo adi- 

6 Atticurge ^ autem isdem rationibus perficiuntur, 
quibus dorica. Praeterea corsae ^ sub cymatiis in 
antepagnientis circumdantur, quae ita distribui 
debent, uti antepagmenti ^ praeter cymatium ex 
partibus vii habeant duas partes. Ipsaque non fiunt 
clathrata ' neque bifora sed valvata, et aperturas 
habent in exteriores partes. 

Quas rationes aedium sacrarum in formationibus 
oporteat fieri <(doricis),^ionicis corinthiisque operibus, 

^ antepagmenti Joe : -tis H. 
^ inpagibus ed : inpaginibus //. 

^ secundum antepagmentum {Baldns) : ante secundum 
pagmentum H. 

* atticurge Nohl : adtigurges H. ^ gorsae H. 

" antepagmenti JRo : ante pagmenta //. 

' clathrata ed. Ven : caelostrata H. ^ add. ed. Fl. 


BOOK IV. c. VI. 

lintel, with the leaf below that level. Their width 
on. the face is two thirds of the architrave, being 
one fourth more slender at the bottom than the 
upper parts. 

The doors are to be so put together that the hinge 
stiles 1 are 1/12 of the breadth of the whole opening. 
The panels between the two stiles are to have 3 
parts out of 12 in width. 5. For the I'ails, the dis- 
tribution shall be such that, taking the height to 
be of 5 parts, two are assigned to the upper portion, 
3 to the lower portion. Let the middle rails be 
placed above the centre ; of the others one set are 
at the top of the doors, the others at the bottom. 
The width of the rail is to be one third of the panel ; 
the cymatium 1/6 of the rail. The breadth of the 
inner stiles is to be half the rail, and the cover- 
moulding 2/3 of the rail. The stiles against the 
architrave are made one half the rail. If the 
doors are folding, the heights remain the same ; but 
let the breadth of the opening be increased. If the 
doors are fourfold, let the height be increased. 

6. Attic doors are made of the same proportions 
as the Doric, the fasciae, however, are carried round 
under the cymatia in the architraves, and ought to 
be so arranged that of the architrave, exclusive of 
the cymatium, they have 2 parts out of 7. They 
are to be without lattice-work and are not to have 
hinges folding inwards, but to fold outwards on 
sockets. 2 

As far as I could attain, I have set forth, as on 
approved lines, the methods which ought to be 

^ The uprights of the door, containing the panels, with 
" rails " as the cross-pieces. 
^ Juv. IV. 63, facili patuerunt cardine vulvae. 


quoad potui attingere, veluti legitimis moribus 
exposui. Nunc de tuscanicis dispositionibus, quem- 
admodum institui oporteat, dicani. 


1 Locus, in quo aedis constituetur, cum habuerit in 
longitudine sex partes, una adempta reliquum quod 
erit, latitudini detur. Longitudo autem dividatur 
bipertito, et quae pars erit interior, cellarum spatiis 
designetur, quae erit proxinia fronti, columnarum 
dispositione relinquatur. Item latitudo dividatur in 

2 partes x. Ex his ternae partes dextra ac sinistra 
cellis minoribus, sive ibi alae ^ futurae sunt, dentur; 
reliquae quattuor mediae aedi attribuantur. Spatium, 
quod erit ante cellas in pronao, ita columnis desig- 
netur, ut angulares contra antas, parietum extre- 
morum regione, conlocentur ; duae mediae e regione 
parietum, qui inter antas et mediam aedem fuerint, 
ita distribuantur ; et inter antas et columnas priores 
per medium isdem regionibus alterae disponantur.^ 
Eaeque sint ima ^ crassitudine altitudinis parte vii ; 
altitudo tertia parte latitudinis templi ; summaque 
columna quarta parte crassitudinis imae^ contrahatur. 

3 Spirae earum altae ^ dimidia parte crassitudinis fiant. 
Habeant spirae earum plinthum ad circinum, altam 
suae crassitudinis dimidia parte, torum insuper cum 

1 alae Joe : aliae H. 

^ alterae clisponantur Joe : altera aedis ponatur H. 
^ eaeque sint ima Jce : aeques intiina H. 
* imae Joe : ima H. * altae Joe : alia H. 


BOOK IV. c. vi.-c. VII. 

followed in planning temples of the Doric, Ionic and 
Corinthian orders. Now I will speak of the Tuscan 
style and the method to be employed therein. 



1. Let the site on which the temple is to be built 
be six parts in length ; five parts are to be assigned' 
to the breadth. Now the length is to be divided in 
two. The interior half is to be marked out by the 
dimensions of the sanctuary ; the part on the front 
is to be left for the portico with its columns. 
2. Further, let the width be divided into 10 parts. Of 
these let three parts each on the right and left be 
given to the lesser sanctuaries, or alternately to the 
wings ; the remaining four parts are to be given to 
the central shrine. Let the space which is before 
the sanctuaries in the forecourt be planned for the ' 
columns, in such a way that the corner columns are 
put opposite the pilastei's, in line with the ends of 
the walls. The two middle columns are to be in 
line with the walls which are between the wings and 
the middle shrine. Between the pilasters and the 
columns in front, additional columns are to be put 
half way in line with them. At the bottom these 
are to have a diameter 1/7 of the height. (The 
height is to be one third of the width of the temple.) 
The top of the column is to be diminished 1/4 of 
the diameter at the bottom. 3. The bases are to 
be made half a diameter high. Let the bases have 
their plinths circular and half the height of the 



apophysi ^ crassum quantum plinthus. Capituli 
altitude dimidia crassitudinis. Abaci latitude quanta 
ima crassitude columnae. Capitulique crassitude 
dividatur in partes tres, e quibus una plinthe, quae 
est in abaco, detur, altera eehine, tertia hypetrachelio 

4 cum apophysi. Supra columnas trabes cempactiles 
inponantur ut altitudinis medulis is, qua magnitudine 
operis postulabuntur.- Eaeque trabes conpactiles 
ponantur ut earn habeant crassitudinem, quanta 
summae celumnae erit hypotrachelium, et ita sint 
cenpactae subscudibus et securiclis, ut cenpactura 
duorum digiterum habeant laxatienem. Cum enim 
inter se tangunt et non spiramentum et perflatum 
venti recipiunt, concalefaciuntur et celeriter putre- 

5 scunt. Supra trabes et supra parietes traiecturae 
mutulorum parte iiii altitudinis celumnae preiciantur ; 
item in eerum frontibus ^ antepagmenta figantur.'* 
Supraque id tympanum fastigii structura seu de 
materia cenlocetur. Supraque eum fastigium, celu- 
men, cantherii, templa ita sunt cenlocanda, ut 
stillicidium tecti abseluti tertiario respondeat. 


FiuNT autem aedes rutundae, e quibus aliae mono- 
pteroe sine cella columnatae constituuntur, aliae 
peripteree dicuntur. Quae sine cella fiunt, tribunal 
habent et ascensum ex sua diametro tertiae partis. 

1 apophysi rec : apopysi H. 

2 postulabuntui Joe : postulabantur H. 

^ frontibus G' : prontibus //. * ficantur H. 

1 Round moulding. 

2 The curving away of the shaft against the base. 
^ Necking. * Tribunal. 


BOOK IV. c. vii.-c. viii. 

base, with a torus ^ and apophysis ^ as deep as the 
phnth. The height of the capital is to be half a 
diameter. The width of the abacus is as great as 
the diameter of the column at the base. The height 
of the capital is to be divided into three parts, of 
which one is to be given to the plinth or abacus, one 
to the echinus or ovolo, the third to the hypo- 
trachelium ^ with the apophysis. 4. Above the 
columns, beams ai*e to be placed bolted together, 
of such proportionate depth as shall be demanded 
by the magnitude of the work. And these coupled 
beams are to have a thickness equal to the hypo- 
trachelium at the top of the column, and they are 
to be so coupled with dowels and mortices that the 
coupling allows an interval of two inches between 
the joists. For when they touch one another and 
do not admit a breathing space and passage of air, 
they are heated and quickly decay. 5. Above the 
beams and w^alls the mutules are to project 1/4 of 
the height of the column. On the front of these, 
casings (antepagmenta) are to be fixed and above 
them the tympanum of the gable either of stone or 
wood. Above this the ridge-piece, rafters, and 
purlins, are to be so placed that the pitch of the roof 
is one in three. 



1. Circular temples are also built, of which some 
are monopteral built with columns but not enclosing 
a cella ; others are peripteral. Those which are 
without a cell have a raised floor * and a flight of 
steps one third of the diameter in height. Above 


VOL. I. R 


Insuper stylobata columnae constituuntur tarn altae, 
quanta ab extremis parietibus est diametros stylo- 
batarum,crassaealtitudinis suae cum capitulis et spiris 
decumae partis. Epistylium altum columnae crassi- 
tudinis dimidia parte. Zophorum et reliqua, quae 
insuper inponuntur, ita uti in in ^ volumine de sym- 
metriis scripsi. 

2 Sin autem peripteros ea aedes constituetur, duo 
gradus et stylobata ab imo constituantur. Deinde 
cellae paries conlocetur cum recessu eius a stylobata 
circa partem latitudinis quintam, medioque valvarum 
locus ad aditus relinquatur ^ ; eaque cella tantam 
habeat diametrum praeter parietes et circumitionem, 
quantam altitudinem columna. Supra stylobata 
columnae circum cellam isdem symmetriisque 

3 disponantur. In medio tecti ratio ita habeatur, uti, 
quanta diametros totius operis erit futura, dimidia 
altitudo fiat tholi praeter florem ; flos autem tantam 
habet magnitudinem, quantam habuerit columnae 
capitulum, praeter pyramidem. Reliqua, uti supra 
scripta sunt ea, proportionibus atque symmetriis 
facienda videntur. 

4 Item generibus aliis constituuntur aedes ex isdem 
symmetriis ordinatae et alio genei'e dispositiones 
habentes, uti est Castoris in circo Flaminio et inter 
duos lucos Veiovis, item argutius Nemori Dianae 

' tertio Joe : quarto H. 

" relinquatur ^S'*^ : relinquantur H. 

^ Cf. terminal on mausoleum of Hadrian (Winckelmann 
History, II. iv. lb.) now replaced by angel. 

^ Lanciani BE 443. This was in the Doric order, apparently. 
Platner 102. 

* This temple was between the Capitol and the Arx. Ovid 
Fasti III. 437. Burn, Rome 196. Platner 548. 



the pedestal (stylobate) the columns are put of 
such a height as is the diameter of the pedestals 
from side to side; the diameter is to be 1/10 of 
the height including the capitals and bases. The 
architrave is to be half a diameter high. The frieze 
and the other members which are placed above 
are to follow the proportions given in the third 

2. But if the temple is peripteral, two steps and 
the stylobate are to be built from the foundation ; 
then the wall of the cella is to be built set back from 
the edge of the stylobate about 1/5 of the width. 
In the middle is to be left an opening with folding- 
doors for the approach. The cella within the walls 
and colonnade, is to have a diameter equal to the 
height of the column. On the stylobate, let columns 
be disposed round the cella and of the same propor- 
tions. 3. In the middle let the proportions of the 
roof be such that the height of the dome, apart 
from the terminal, is half the diameter of the whole 
work. Let the terminal have the magnitude of the 
capital of the column in addition to the pyramid (on 
which the flower ^ rests). The other parts are to be 
constructed of the proportions and symmetries as is 
above described. 

4. Further, temples of other orders are laid out 
and built with the same symmetries, yet having the 
arrangements of another order than the Tuscan : such 
as the temple of Castor - in the Circus Flaminius, of 
Veiovis ^ between the Two Groves, and with more 
subtle proportions the temple of Diana Nemorensis ^ 

* Of this temple, considerable remains were excavated in 
1885 by Lord Savile : Catalogue of Nemi Collection, 



columnis adiectis dextra ac sinistra ad umeros pronai. 
Hoc autem genere primo facta est, uti est Castoris in 
circo, Athenis in arce et in Attica Sunio Palladis 
Minervae. Earum non aliae sed eaedem ^ sunt 
proportiones. Celiac enim longitudinibus duplices 
sunt ad latitudines ^ uti reliquae ; ex is omnia ^ quae 
Solent esse in frontibus, ad latera sunt translata. 

5 Nonnulli etiam de tuscanicis generibus sumentes 
columnarum dispositiones transferunt in corinthiorum 
et ionicorum operum ordinationes, et quibus ^ in locis 
in pronao procurrunt antae, in isdem e regione celiac 
parietum columnas binas conlocantes efficiunt tuscani- 
corum et graecorum operum communem ratiocina- 

6 tionem. Alii vero removentes parietes aedis ^ et 
adplicantes ad intercolumnia pteromatos,® spatii 
sublati efficiunt amplum laxamentum celiac ; reliqua 
autem proportionibus et symmetriis isdem conser- 
vantes aliud genus figurae nominisque videtur 
pseudoperipterum procreavisse. Haec autem genera 
propter usum sacrificiorum convertuntur. Non enim 
omnibus diis isdem rationibus aedes sunt faciundae, 
quod alius alia varietate sacrorum religionum habet 

7 Omnes aedium sacrarum ratiocinationes, uti mihi 
traditae sunt, exposui ordinesque et symmetrias 
eorum partitionibus distinxi, et quorum dispares sunt 
figurae et quibus discriminibus inter se sunt dispara- 

^ eaedem 5 : eadera H G. 

- latitudines Joe : altitudines H. 

* omnia Tvrnehus: reliqua exisona H. 

* et quibus Sclm : equibus H. ^ aedis G" : aedes H. 
^ pteromatos ed. Fl : pleromatos H. 


BOOK IV. c. vm. 

with columns added right and left on the sides of the 
pronaos. The first temples built in the manner of 
that of Castor in the Circus, were those of Pallas 
(Minerva) in the Acropolis ^ at Athens, and at 
Sunium in Attica, of the same and not different 
proportions. For like the others, the cells are 
double in length compared to the breadth. In 
these temples also, all the features which are cus- 
tomary on the front are transferred to the flanks. 
5. For some taking the arrangements of the columns 
from the Tuscan style, transfer them to the design 
of Corinthian and Ionic buildings. And where the 
pilasters run forward in the forecourt, they place 
two columns in line with the walls of the cella and 
produce a system common to Tuscan and Greek 
forms of building. 6. Others again, removing the 
walls of the shrine and putting them in the inter- 
columniations of the colonnade,^ pi'oduce a large 
extension of the cella by the space thus gained ; 
keeping the other parts, however, of the same 
proportions and symmetries, they seem to have 
created another kind of plan and of name, the 
pseudoperipteral. The styles of building vary to 
suit the needs of sacrifice. For temples are not to 
be built to all the gods in the same styles. For the 
several gods by the variety of their woi-ship give rise 
to different religious effects. 

7. I have set forth all the plans of temples as they 
have been taught me, and have distinguished in 
detail their orders and symmetries, the difference of 
their forms and the details by which they are dis- 

^ The Parthenon. 

2 As at the Maison Carree at Nimes. This really is the 
starting point of the Palladian style. 



tae, quoad potui significare scriptis, exposui. Nunc 
de areis deoruni inmortalium/ uti aptani constitu- 
tionem habeant ad sacrificiorum rationem, dicani. 


Arae spectent ad orientem et semper inferiores 
sint conlocatae quam simulacra quae fuerint in aede, 
uti suspicientes divinitatem, qui supplicant, et sacri- 
ficant, disparibus altitudinibus ad sui cuiusque dei 
decorem componantur. Altitudines autem earum 
sic sunt explicandae, uti lovi omnibusque caelestibus 
quam excelsissimae constituantur, Vestae Terrae 
Marique ^ humiles conlocentur, Ita idoneae his 
institutionibus explicabuntur in meditationibus are- 
arum ^ deformationes. 

Explicatis ^ aedium sacrarum compositionibus in 
hoc libro, insequenti de communium operum redde- 
mus distributionibus explicationes. 

1 d. immortalium immo potius demonum S. 

^ matrique ed : marique H. 

^ ararum G : arearum H. * explicantis H. 


BOOK IV. c. viii.-c. IX. 

tinguished from one another, as far as I could indicate 
by writing. Now I will speak of the precincts of the 
immortal gods so that they may have an arrangement 
suitable for the purposes of sacrifice. 



Let the altars look to the east ^ and be always 
placed lower than the images which shall be in the 
temple ; so that those who pray and sacrifice may 
look up to the divinity from various levels as becomes 
each man's god. The levels of the altars to Jupiter 
and the host of heaven are so to be contrived that 
they may be placed as high as possible ; to Vesta, 
Earth and Sea ^ they are to be made low. By these 
methods the planning of the precincts will be suitable 
in practice. 

In this book the planning of temples has been 
explained. In the next book we shall give explana- 
tions about the ari-angement of public buildings. 

^ The altar was outside the temple, in the precincts. 
^ Sea completes the four elements : air, fire, earth, 




1 Qui amplioribus voluminibus, imperator, ingenii 
cogitationes pi-aeceptaque explicaverunt, maximas 
et egregias adiecerunt suis scriptis auctoritates. 
Quod etiam vel in nostris quoque studiis res patere- 
tur, ut amplificationibus auctoritas et in his prae- 
ceptis aiigeretur ; sed id non est, quemadniodum 
putatur, expeditum. Non enim de architectura sic 
scribitur uti historia aut poemata. Historiae per se 
tenent lectores ; habent enim novarum rerum varias 
expectationes. Poematorum vero carminum metra 
et pedes, ac verborum elegans dispositio et sententi- 
arum inter pei'sonas distinctas, versuum pronuntiatio 
prolectando sensus legentium perducit sine offensa 

2 ad summam scriptorum terminationem. Id autem 
in architeeturae conseriptionibus non potest fieri, 
quod vocabula ex artis propria necessitate concepta 
inconsueto sermone obiciunt sensibus obscuritatem. 
Cum ergo ea per se non sint aperta nee pateant 
eorum in consuetudine nomina, tum etiam prae- 
ceptorum late evagantes ^ scripturae, si non contra- 
hentur, et paucis et perlucidis sententiis explicentur, 
frequentia multitudineque sermonis inpediente in- 
certas legentium efficient cogitationes. Itaque oc- 
cultas nominationes commensusque e membris 

^ late vagantes G : lata evagantes H. 

1 For this meaning c/. Yulg. II. Thess. ii. 2. 



1. Men, Caesar, who in more ample volumes 
unfold the notions and rules suggested by their 
talent, add to their writings very great and unusual 
authority. Indeed even in our studies, the topic 
would allow this : namely, that in this treatise also, 
amplification would afford greater weight of authority. 
But that is not so convenient as it is thought. For 
writing about architecture is not like a history, or 
poems. Histories, of themselves, hold the reader. 
For they offer the varied prospects of novelty. 
Again in poems, the measures and feet of the music 
and the nice arrangement of words and opinions, 
the recital of verses distributed among the several 
characters, entice the thoughts ^ of the reader and, 
without hindrance, lead him on to the very close of 
the book. 2. But in architectural compositions this 
cannot take place. For the terms, used by the 
special necessity of the craft, by their unfamiliar 
sound seem obscure to the perception. Since there- 
foi'e they of themselves are not obvious, nor is the 
nomenclature clear by customary use, so further the 
casual expression of rules — -unless they are collected 
and explained in a few lucid phrases — renders un- 
certain the notions of the reader : for repetition 
and a cumbrous style are a hindrance. And while I 
enumerate, in accordance with the parts of buildings, 



operum pronuntians, ut memoriae tradantur, breviter 
exponam ; sic enim expeditius ea recipere poterunt 

3 mentes. Non minus cum ^ animadvertissem dis- 
tentam occupationibus civitatem publicis et privatis 
negotiis, paucis iudicavi scribendum, uti angusto 
spatio vacuitatis ea legentes breviter percipere 

Etiamque ^ Pythagorae quique ^ eius haeresim 
fuerunt secuti, placuit cybicis rationibus praecepta 
in voluminibus scribere, constitueruntque cybum 
ccxvi * versus eosque non plus tres in una conscrip- 

4 tione oportere esse putaverunt. Cybus autem est 
corpus ex lateribus aequali latitudine planitiarum 
perquadratus.^ Is cum est iactus, quam in partem 
incubuit, dum est intactus, inmotam habet stabili- 
tatem, uti sunt etiam tesserae quas in alveo ludentes 
iaciunt. Hanc autem similitudinem ex eo sumpsisse 
videntur, quod is numerus versuum, uti cybus, in 
quemcumque sensum insederit, inmotam efficiat ibi 
memoriae stabilitatem. Graeci quoque poetae comici 
interponentes e choro canticum diviserunt spatia 
fabularum. Ita partes cybica ratione facientes 
intercapedinibus levant auctorum pronuntiationis.^ 

5 Cum ergo haec naturali modo sint a maioribus 
observata animoque advertam inusitatas et obscuras 
multis res esse mihi scribendas, quo facilius ad sensus 
legentium pervenire possint, brevibus voluminibus 

^ cum G : eum H. ^ etiamque Joe : etiam qui H. 

^ quique G : quinque H. * ccxvi Joe : cc. &. L. H. 

* perquadratum Joe : -tus H. 
^ pronunciationis H {c = t insc. 235 a.d.). 


BOOK V. Preface 

the obscure terms and measurements, I will expound 
them briefly so that they may be remembered. For 
thus the mind will be able to receive them more 
conveniently. 3. None the less, perceiving the state 
to be overstrained by public and private business, I 
decided that I must write briefly so that the reader 
might understand in his scanty leisure. 

Pythagoras also, and those who followed his sect, 
decided to write their rules, cube fashion, in their 
volumes, and fixed upon a cube — 216 lines ^ — and 
they thought that not more than three cubes should 
be in one treatise. 4. Now a cube is a body with all 
its sides squared and their surfaces equal. When a 
cube is thrown, on whatever part it rests, it retains 
its stability unmoved so long as it is untouched, like 
the dice which players throw in a tray.^ Now this 
analogy they seem to have taken from the fact that 
this number of verses, like a cube upon whatever 
sense it falls, makes the memory there stable and 
unmoved. Greek comic poets also, interposing the 
canticum ^ sung by the chorus, divided the spaces 
of their plays. Thus making the parts cube fashion, 
they relieve by intervals the delivery of the author's 

5. Since then, these things have been observed 
by our forefathers in the order of nature, and I 
find that I must deal with topics unfamiliar and 
obscure to the many, I decided to write in short 
compass, that they might more easily reach the 

1 H gives 250 (250 = 2 x 125 = a double cube ; cf. Apollo's 
mathematical problem, Book IX. pref. 13). This gives 750 
lines as the usual length of a book, e.g. of Homer. 

- This seems to be quoted from Varro, Gell. I. xx. 6. 

* The sung portions which separate the dialogue. 



iudicavi scribere ; ita enim expedita erunt ad intelle- 
gendum. Eorumque ordinationes institui, uti non 
sint quaerentibus separatim coUigenda, sed e corpore 
uno et in singulis voluminibus generum haberent 
explicationes. Itaque, Caesar, tertio et quarto 
volumine aedium sacrarum rationes exposui, hoe 
libro publicorum locorum expediani dispositiones. 
Primumque forum uti oporteat constitui dicam, quod 
in eo et publicai'um et privatarum rerum rationes per 
magistratus gubernantur. 


Graeci in quadrato amplissimis et duplieibus porti- 
cibus fora constituunt crebrisque columnis et lapideis 
aut marmoreis epistyliis adornant et supra ambula- 
tiones in contignationibus faciunt. Italiae vero 
urbibus non eadem est ratione faciendum, ideo quod 
a maioribus consuetudo tradita est gladiatoria 
munera in foro dari. Igitur circum spectacula 
spatiosiora intercolumnia distribuantur circaque in 
porticibus argentariae tabernae maenianaque su- 
perioribus coaxationibus conlocentur ; quae et ad 
usum et ad vectigalia publica recta erunt disposita. 

Magnitudines autem ad copiam hominum oportet 
fieri, ne parvum spatium sit ad usum aut ne propter 

^ There is probably a reference here to readers in a public 
library, such as that of Pollio on the Palatine, of which 
Varro was the first Director. Suet. Julius xliv. 

2 Forum at Tegea is square, Pans. VIII. 48. 

^ Double colonnades at Elis, Pans. VI. 24. 

* Burn, Rome 90, Suet. Julius x. 1. 


BOOK V. c. I. 

perception of the reader. For so they will be con- 
venient for understanding. And I fixed their 
arrangement so that the inquirer ^ has not to collect 
them, one by one, but that from one corpus and in 
the several books they might get the explanations 
of the several subjects. And so, Caesar, in the third 
and fourth volume, I explained the plans of temples ; 
in this book I will set forth the arrangements of 
P^ublic places. And first I will say how the forum 
should be planned, because in it business, both of a 
public and private nature, is controlled by the 



1. The Greeks plan the forum on the square ^ 
with most ample double ^ colonnades and close-set 
columns ; they ornament them with stone or marble 
architraves, and above they make promenades on 
the boai-ded flooi-s. But in the cities of Italy we 
must not proceed on the same plan, because the 
custom of giving gladiatorial shows in the forum has 
been handed down from our ancestors.^ 2. For that 
reason more roomy intercolumniations are to be 
used round the spectacle ; in the colonnades, silver- 
smiths' shops 5 ; and balconies, rightly placed for 
convenience and for public revenue, are to be placed 
on the upper floors. 

The dimensions of the forum ought to be adjusted 
to the audience lest the space be cramped for use, 

* Or " bankers," offices previously occupied by school- 
masters, Liv. III. 44. 



inopiain populi vastuin turum vidoatur. Latitude 
autem ita finiatur uti, longitiido in trcs partes cum 
divisa fuerit, ex his duae partes ei dcntur ; ^ ita enim 
erit oblonga eius formatio et ad spectaculorum 

3 rationem utilis dispositio. Columnae superiores 
quarta parte niinores quam inferiores sunt consti- 
tuendae. propterea quod oneri ferendo quae sunt 
inferiora firmiora debent esse quam superiora. Non 
minus qucni ctiam nascentium oportet imitari 
iKiturani. ut in arlKirilniN teretibus. abiete, cupresso, 
pinu, e quilnis nulla non crassior est ab radicibus, 
dein decresci lulo proceditur in altitudinem naturali 
contractura peracquata nascens ad cacumen. Ergo 
si natura nascentium ita postulat. recte est consti- 
tutum et altitudinibus et crassitudinibus superiora 
inferiorum fieri contractiora. 

4 Basilicarum loca adiuncta foris quam calidissimis 
partibus oportet constitui, ut per hiemem sine mo- 
lestia tempestatium se conferre in eas negotiatores 
possint. Earumque latitudines ne minus quam ex 
tertia, ne plus ex dimidia longitudinis constituantur, 
nisi si loci natura inpedierit et aliter coegerit symme- 
triam commutari. Sin autem locus erit amplior in 
longitudine. cliakidica in extremis constituantur. uti 

5 sunt in Julia Aquiliana. Colunmae basilicarum tam 
altae. quam porticus latae fucrint. faciendae videntur ; 
porticus, quam medium spatium futurum est, ex 
tertia finiatur. Colunmae superiores minores quam 
inferiores, uti supra scriptum est, constituantur. 

^ ei deiitiu" Joe : iubentur H. 

^ Public halls with nave, aisles, clerestory, later sometimes 
\ised as churches. 

- Probably erected by Julius Caesar. 


BOOK V. c. I. 

or else, owing to a scanty attendance, the forum 
should seem too large. Now let the breadth be so 
determined that when the length is divided into three 
parts, two are assigned to the breadth. For so the 
plan will be oblong, and the arrangement will be 
adapted to the purpose of the spectacles. 3. The 
upper columns are to be a quarter less than the 
lower ones ; because the lower columns ought to be 
stronger for bearing weight than the upper ones. 
Not less one ought also to imitate the natural growth 
of trees, as in tapering trees, the fir, the cypress, 
the pine, of which everyone is thicker at the roots. 
Then diminishing it rises on high, by a natural con- 
traction growing evenly to the summit. Therefore 
since the nature of growing plants so demands, 
things are rightly arranged both in height and 
thickness, if the higher are more contracted than the 

4. The sites of basilicas ^ ought to be fixed adjoin- 
ing the fora in as warm a quarter as possible, so 
that in the winter, business men may meet there 
without being troubled by the weather. And their 
breadth should be fixed at not less than a third, nor 
more than half their length, unless the nature of the 
site is awkward and forces the proportions to be 
changed. When the site is longer than necessary, 
the committee rooms are to be placed at the end of 
the basilica, as they are in the Basilica Julia ^ at 
Aquileia.^ 5. The columns of basilicas are to be of 
a height equal to the width of the aisle. The aisle 
is to have a width one third of the nave. The 
columns of the upper story are to be less than those 
below as herein above specified. The parapet 

* Important commercial town near Venice. 
VOL. I. S 


Pluteum, quod fuerit inter superiores et inferiores 
columnas, item quarta parte minus, quam superiores 
columnae fuerint, oportere fieri videtur, uti supra 
basilicae contignationem ambulantes ab negotiatori- 
bus ne conspiciantur. Epistylia zophora coronae 
ex symmetriis columnarum, uti in tertio libro dixi- 
mus, explieentur. 

6 Non minus summam dignitatem et venustatem 
possunt habere conparationes basilicarum, quo genere 
Coloniae ^ luliae Fanestri conlocavi curavique faci- 
endam, cuius proportiones et symmetriae sic sunt 
constitutae. Mediana testudo inter columnas est 
longa pedes cxx, lata pedes lx. Porticus eius circa 
testudinem inter parietes et columnas lata pedes xx. 
Columnae altitudinibus perpetuis cum capitulis 
pedes L, crassitudinibus quinum, habentes post se 
parastaticas altas pedes xx, latas ^ pedes ii s, cras- 
sas I s, quae sustinent trabes, in quibus invehuntur 
porticuum contignationes. Supraque eas aliae para- 
staticae pedum xviii, latae binum, crassae pedem, 
quae excipiunt item trabes sustinentes cantherium 
et porticum, quae sunt summissa infra testudinem, 

7 tecta. Reliqua spatia inter parastaticarum et co- 
lumnarum trabes per intercolumnia luniinibus sunt 
relicta. Columnae sunt in latitudine ^ testudinis 
cum angularibus dextra ac sinistra quaternae, in 
longitudine, quae est foro proxima, cum isdem angu- 
laribus octo, ex altera parte cum angularibus vi,'* 
ideo quod mediae duae in ea parte non sunt jDositae, 
ne inpediant aspectus pronai aedis Augusti, quae est 
in medio latere parietis basilicae conlocata spectans 

^ colonie G : columniae H. ^ latas ed : latae H. 

^ latitudine G : altitudine //. * \i H S : sex G. 


BOOK V. c. I. 

between the upper and lower columns ought to be 
one fourth less than the upper columns, so that 
people walking on the first floor may not be seen by 
persons engaged in business. The architraves, friezes 
and cornices are to be designed in accordance with 
the columns, as we have prescribed in the third book. 
6. At the Julian Colony of Fano,^ I let out for 
contract and superintended the building of a basilica 
not inferior to these in dignity and grace. Its pi'o- 
portions and harmonies are as follows : There is a 
vaulted nave between the columns 120 feet long and 
60 broad. The aisle between the columns of the 
nave and the outside wall, is 20 feet wide. The 
columns are of an unbroken height, including the 
capitals, of 50 feet with a diameter of 5 feet. Behind 
them adjoining the aisle are pilasters 20 feet high, 
2^ feet wide and li feet thick. These carry the 
beams under the flooring. Above, there are pilasters 
18 feet high, 2 feet wide and 1 foot thick, which 
take the beams which carry the principals of the 
main roof, and the I'oofs of the aisles which are 
lower than the vaulting of the nave. 7. The space 
which remains in the intercolumniations, above the 
pilasters and below the tops of the columns, admits 
the necessary lighting. In the width of the nave 
counting the angle columns right and left, there are 
four columns at each end. On the side adjoining 
the forum, there are eight, including the angle 
columns. On the other side there are six, including 
the angle columns. The two columns in the middle 
are omitted, so as not to obstruct the view of the 
pronaos of the Temple of Augustus which is situated 
in the middle of the side wall of the basilica and 

^ Founded by Augustus, see p. 317 n. 

s 2 


8 medium forum et aedem lovis. Item tribunal quod 
est in ea aede, hemieycli schematis ^ minoris curva- 
tura formatum ; eius autem hemieycli in fronte est 
intervallum pedes xlvi, introrsus curvatura pedes xv, 
uti, qui apud magistratus starent, negotiantes in 
basilica ne inpedirent. Supra columnas ex tribus 
tignis bipedalibus conpactis trabes sunt circa conlo- 
catae, eaeque ab tertiis columnis quae sunt in in- 
teriore parte, revertuntur ad antas quae a pronao 
procurrunt, dextraque et sinistra hemicyclium tan- 

9 gunt. Supra trabes ^ contra capitula ex fulmentis 
dispositae pilae sunt conlocatae, altae pedes iii, latae 
quoqueversus quaternos. Supra eas ex duobus tignis 
bipedalibus trabes everganeae circa sunt conlocatae. 
Quibus insuper transtra ^ cum capreolis columnarum 
contra corpora et antas et parietes pronai conlocata ^ 
sustinent unum culmen perpetuae basilicae, alterum 

iO a medio supra pronaum aedis. Ita fastigiorum du- 
plex tecti nata^ dispositio extrinsecus tecti et inte- 
rioris altae testudinis praestat speciem venustam. 
Item sublata epistyliorum ornamenta et pluteorum 
columnarumque superiorum distributio operosam 
detrahit molestiam sumptusque inminuit ex magna 
parte summam. Ipsae vero columnae in altitudine 
perpetua sub trabe testudinis perductae et magnifi- 
centiam inpensae et auctoritatem operi adaugere 

^ scematis H. ^ trabes H. 

3 transtra rec : trasta H. * collocata Joe : -tae H. 

5 pectinata Bondam : tectinata H. Cic. Q.F. III. i. 14. 


BOOK V. c. I. 

faces the middle of the forum and the Temple of 
Jupiter. 8. The tribunal which is in the former 
temple, is in the shape of the segment of a circle. 
The width of the segment in front is 46 feet ; its 
depth is 15 feet; so that those who come before the 
magistrates may not interfere with persons on 
business in the basilica. Above the columns are 
beams made of three 2 foot joists bolted together. 
These return from the third column on either side 
of the opening to the antae of the pronaos, and 
adjoin the curve of the tribunal right and left. 
9. Above the beams vertically over the capitals, 
piers are placed on supports, 3 feet high and 4 feet 
square. Above them, beams formed of two 2 foot 
joists, carefully wrought, are carried round the 
basilica. Thereon over against the shafts of the 
columns, and the antae and walls of the pronaos, 
cross-beams and struts support the whole ridge of 
the basilica, and a second ridge running out from 
the middle of the main ridge, over the pronaos of 
the temple. 10. Thus there arises from the roof a 
double arrangement of gables. This gives a pleasing 
effect both to the exterior of the roof and to the 
high vaulting within. Further, we dispense with 
the ornaments of the entablatures and the provision 
of the upper columns and pai'apets. We are 
relieved from laborious details and escape a large 
expenditure, while the carrying up of the columns 
without a break to the beams of the vault ^ seems to 
give a sumptuous magnificence and impressiveness 
to the work. 

^ This anticipates the Palladian use of columns as in the 
Redentore at Venice. 




1 Aerarium, career, euria foro sunt eoniungenda, 
sed ita uti magnitudo symnietriae eorum foro re- 
spondeant. Maxime quidem curia in primis est 
facienda ad dignitatem municipii sive eivitatis. Et 
si quadrata erit, quantum habuerit latitudinis dimidia 
addita constituatur altitudo ; sin autem oblonga 
fuerit, longitudo et latitudo componatur, et summae 
compositae ^ eius dimidia pars sub lacunaris ^ alti- 

2 tudini detur. Praeterea praecingendi sunt parietes 
medii coronis ex intestino opere aut albario ad dimi- 
diam partem altitudinis. Quae si non erunt, vox 
ibi disputantium elata in altitudinem intellectui non 
poterit esse audientibus. Cum autem coronis prae- 
cincti parietes erunt, vox ab imis morata priusquam 
in aera elata dissipabitur, auribus erit intellecta. 


1 Cum forum constitutum fuerit, turn deorum inmor- 
talium diebus festis ludorum expectationibus ^ eli- 
gendus est locus theatro quam saluberrimus, uti in 
primo libro de salubritatibus in moenium conloca- 
tionibus est scriptum. Per ludos enim cum coniu- 
gibus et liberis persedentes delectationibus detinentur 
et corpora propter voluptatem inmota patentes 

^ compositae G" : -ta H. 

^ lacunaris H : cf. socis = sociis ; operaris = operariis 

^ expectator ide^n quod spectator. 

^ Albarium is the finishing coat of stucco. 

BOOK V. c. ii.-c. HI. 


1. The treasury, prison, senate-house are to 
adjoin the forum but in such a way that their scale 
and proportion answers to that of the forum. In 
the first place especially the senate-house is to be 
built with a view to the dignity of the municipality 
or city. If it be square its height must be one and 
a half times its width ; but if it be oblong, let the 
length and breadth be added together and let half 
of the total amount be given to the height under 
the ceiling. 2. Moreover the interior walls are to 
be surrounded half way up with cornices of fine 
joiners' work or plaster ^ at half their height. If this 
is not done, the voice of the disputants rising upwards 
cannot be understood by the audience. When, 
however, the walls are girt with cornices, the voice, 
being delayed by the lowest parts before it rises into 
the air and is scattered, will be perceived by the ear. 



1. When the forum has been settled, a site as 
healthy as possible is to be chosen for the exhibition 
of plays on the festivals of the immortal gods, 
according to the instructions given in the first book 
for the healthy disposition of the city walls. For at 
the play citizens with their wives and children 
remain seated in their enjoyment ; their bodies 
motionless with pleasure have the pores opened. 



habent venas, in quas insiduntur aurarum flatus, qui, 
si a regionibus palustribus aut aliis regionibus vitio- 
sis ^ advenient, nocentes spiritus corporibus infundent. 
Itaque si curiosius eligetur locus theatre, vitabuntur 

2 vitia. Etiamque providendum est, nene impetus 
habeat a meridie. Sol enim cum implet eius ru- 
tunditatem, aer conclusus curvatura neque habens 
potestatem vagandi versando confervescit et candens 
adurit excoquitque et inminuit e corporibus umores. 
Ideo maxime vitandae sunt his rebus vitiosae regiones 

3 et eligendae salubres. Fundamentorum autem, si in 
montibus fuerit, facilior erit ratio ; sed si necessitas 
coegerit in piano aut palustri loco ea constitui, solida- 
tiones substructionesque ita erunt faciendae, quem- 
admodum de fundationibus aedium sacrarum in 
tertio libro est scriptum. Insuper fundamenta 
lapideis et marmoreis copiis gradationes ab substruc- 

4 tione fieri debent. Praecinctiones ad altitudines 
theatrorum pro rata parte faciendae videntur, neque 
altiores quam quanta praecinctionis itineris sit lati- 
tude. Si enim excelsiores fuerint, repellent et 
eicient in superiorem partem ^ vocem nee patientur ^ 
in sedibus suis, quae ^ supra praecinctiones, verborum 
casus certa significatione ad aures pervenire. Et ad 
summam ita est gubernandum, uti, linea cum ad 
imum gradum et ad summum extenta fuerit, omnia 
cacumina graduum angulosque tangat ; ita vox non 

^ viciosis H. ^ eicientem superiorem partem H. 

' pacientur H. * H om. verbmn. 

^ By preference theatres were excavated in the side of a 
hill as at Dougga near Carthage. Greek theatres are often 
on the hill side ; Roman theatres, on the level. 

- Vitruvius often uses a singular verb referring to the main 


BOOK V. c. HI. 

On these the breath of the wind falls, and if it comes 
from marshy districts or other infected quarters, it 
will pour harmful spirits into the system. If there- 
fore special care is taken in choosing a site, infection 
will be avoided. 2. Care also is to be taken, lest it 
be open to attacks from the south. For when the 
sun fills the circuit of the theatre, the air being 
enclosed within the curved space and not having the 
opportunity of circulating, revolves and becomes 
heated; hence it blazes, burns up, draws out and 
reduces the moisture of the body. Thus sites which 
are faulty in these respects are especially to be 
avoided, and healthy sites chosen.^ 3. If the 
theatre is - on a hillside, the construction of the 
foundations will be easier. But if they have to be 
laid on level or marshy ground, piles and sub- 
structures must be used as we have written in the 
third book concerning the foundations of temples. 
Above the foundations, the stepped seats ought to 
be built up fx-om the substructure in stone or marble. 
4. The curved level gangways, it seems, should be 
made proportionately to the height of the theatre ; 
and each of them not higher at the back, than is the 
breadth of the passage of the gangway. For if they 
are taller, they will check and throw out the voice 
into the upper part of the theatre. Neither will they 
allow the endings of words to come with a clear 
significance to the ears of the people in their seats 
above the gangways. In brief the section of the 
theatre is to be so managed that if a line is drawn 
touching the lowest and the top rows, it shall also 
touch the front angles of all the rows. Thus the 

topic. It is unnecessary, here as elsewhere, to correct the 




5 inpedietur. Aditus complures et spatiosos oportet 
disponere, nee eoniunetos superiores inferioribus, sed 
ex omnibus locis perpetuos et directos sine ^ inver- 
suris faciendos, uti, cum populus dimittatur de specta- 
culis, ne comprimatur, sed habeat ex omnibus locis 
exitus separatos sine inpeditione. 

Etiami diligenter est animadvertendum, ne sit locus 
surdus, sed ut in eo vox quam clarissime vagari 
possit. Hoc vero fieri ita poterit, si locus electus 

6 fuerit, ubi non inpediantur resonantia. Vox autera 
ut spiritus fluens aeris, et actu sensibilis auditu. Ea 
movetur circulorum rutundationibus infinitis, uti si 
in stantem aquam lapide inmisso nascantur innu- 
merabiles undai'um circuli crescentes a centro, quam 
latissime possint, et vagantes, nisi angustia loci inter- 
pellaverit aut aliqua ofFensio, quae non patitur de- 
signationes earum undarum ad exitus pervenire. 
Itaque cum interpellentur offensionibus, primae re- 
dundantes insequentium disturbant designationes. 

7 Eadem ratione vox ita ad circinum efficit motiones ; 
sed in aqua ^ circuli planitiae in latitudine moventur, 
vox et in latitudine progreditur et altitudinem grada- 
tim scandit. Igitur ut in aqua undai'um designa- 
tionibus, item in voce cum oiFensio nulla primam 
undam interpellaverit, non disturbat secundam ^ nee 

^ sine rec : siue H. ^ ininaqua H. 

^ secunda : -dum H. 

^ actu is an Aristotelian term, = actual. 
^ This comparison is made by the Stoics, Dio L. VII. 158; 
Plut. Plac. Phil. IV. xix. 4. 


BOOK V. c. HI. 

voice will not be checked. 5. Many and spacious 
stepped passages must be arranged between the 
seats : but the upper ones ought to be discontinuous 
with the lower. Everywhere, each passage (upper 
or lower) must be continuous and straight without 
bends ; so that when the audience is dismissed from 
the spectacle, it may not be cramped, but may find 
everywhere separate and uninterrupted exits. 

Great care is also to be taken that the place chosen 
does not deaden the sound, but that the voice can 
i-ange in it with the utmost clearness. And this can 
be brought about if a site is chosen where the passage 
of sound is not hindered. 6. Now the voice is like a 
flowing breath of air, and is actual ^ when perceived 
by the sense of hearing. It is moved along innumer- 
able undulations of circles ; as when ^ we throw a 
stone into standing water. Innumerable circular 
undulations arise spreading from the centre as wide 
as possible. And they extend unless the limited 
space hinders, or some obstruction which does not 
allow the directions of the waves to reach the 
outlets. And so when they are interrupted by 
obstacles, the first waves flowing back disturb the 
directions of those which follow. 7. In the same 
way the voice in like manner moves circle fashion. 
But while in water the circles move horizontally 
only, the voice both moves horizontally and rises 
vertically by stages.^ Therefore as is the case with 
the direction of the waves in water, so with the 
voice when no obstacle interrupts the first wave, 
this in turn does not disturb the second and later 

^ The Stoics noted that the undulations of sound moved 
" spherically " through the air, and not merely horizontally. 
Plut. loc. cit. 



insequentes, sed omnes sine resonantia perveniunt 
ad imorum et ad summorum aures. Ergo veteres 
architecti naturae vestigia persecuti indagationibus 
vocis scandentis^theatrorum perfecerunt gradationes, 
et quaesierunt per canonicam mathematicorum et 
musicam rationem, ut, quaecumque vox esset in 
scaena, clarior et suavior ad spectatorum perveniret 
aures. Uti enim organa in aeneis lamrninis aut 
corneis echeis ^ ad cordarum ^ sonitum claritatem 
perficiuntur, sic theatrorum per harnionicen ad 
augendam voceni ratiocinationes ab antiquis sunt 


1 Harmonia autem est musica litteratura obscura et 
difficilis, niaxime quideni quibus graecae litterae non 
sunt notae. Quam si volunius explicare, necesse est 
etiam graecis verbis uti, quod nonnullae eorum latinas 
non habent appellationes. Itaque ut potuero quam 
apertissinie ex Aristoxeni scripturis interpretabor et 
eius diagramma subscribam finitionesque sonituuni 
designabo, uti, qui diligentius attenderit, facilius 

2 percipere possit. Vox enim mutationibus cum 
flectitur, alias fiat acuta, alias gravis ; duobusque 
modis movetur, e quibus unus efFectus habet continu- 
atos, alter distantis. Continuata vox neque in finitio- 
nibus consistit neque in loco uUo, efficitque termina- 
tiones non apparentes, intervalla autem media 

1 vocis scandentis G'^ : voces scandentes H. 

^ -r^x^iois Schn : haeae sic H. 

* corda Petr. 66, 7 ; sonitum ge7i. nl. 

^ As reverberators. 

BOOK V. c, iii.-c. IV. 

waves, but all reach the ears of the top and bottom 
rows without echoing. Therefore the ancient archi- 
tects following nature's footsteps, traced the voice as 
it rose, and carried out the ascent of the theatre seats. 
By the rules of mathematics and the method of 
music, they sought to make the voices from the stage 
rise more clearly and sweetly to the spectators' ears. 
For just as organs which have bronze plates ^ or horn 
sounding boards are brought to the clear sound of 
string instruments, so by the arrangement of theatres 
in accordance with the science of harmony, the 
ancients increased the power of the voice. 



1. Harmony is an obscure and difficult branch of 
musical literature especially for persons unacquainted 
with Greek. If we wish to explain it we must use 
Greek words and some of these have no Latin 
renderings. Therefore I shall translate (as well as 
I can) from the works of Aristoxenus ^ subjoining his 
diagram, and I shall indicate the definitions of the 
musical notes, so that an attentive reader can the 
ntiore easily understand. 2. For when the voice is 
changed and modulated it may sometimes become 
high, sometimes low. It moves in two manners, of 
which one is continuous, the other by intervals. For 
the continuous voice neither stops in definite notes 
nor indeed anywhere, and comes to no clear endings. 
There are, however, intervals apparent between one 

' Pupil of Aristotle. Some of his musical works have come 



parentia, uti sermone cum dicamus : sol lux flos vox. 
Nunc enim nee unde incipit nee ubi desinit, intelle- 
gitur ; sed quod ex acuta facta est gravis et ex gravi 
acuta, apparet auribus. Per distantiam autem e 
contrario. Namque cum flectitur, inmutatione vox 
statuit se in alicuius sonitus finitionem, deinde in 
alterius, et id ultro citro crebre faciendo constans 
apparet sensibus, uti in cantionibus cum flectentes 
vocem varietatem facimus. Modulationis itaque 
intervallis ^ ea cum versatur, et unde initium fecit et 
ubi desiit, apparet in sonorum patentibus finitionibus, 
mediana autem patentia intervallis obscurantur. 
3 Genera vero sunt modulationum tria : primum 
quod Graeci nominant harmoniam, secundum chroma, 
tertium diatonon. Est autem harmoniae modulatio 
ad artem concepta, et ea re cantio eius maxime 
gravem et egregiam habet auctoritatem. Chroma 
subtili sollertia ac crebritate modulorum suaviorem 
habet delectationem. Diatoni vero, quod naturalis 
est, facilior est intervallorum distantia. In his tribus 
generibus dissimiles sunt tetrachordorum disposi- 
tiones, quod harmonia tetrachordorum et tonos et 
dihesis habet binas (dihesis autem est toni pars 
quarta ; ita in hemitonio duae diheses sunt conlo- 
catae) ; chromati duo hemitonia in ordine sunt 
composita, tertium trium hemitoniorum est inter- 
vallum ; diatono ^ toni duo sunt continuati, tertium 
hemitonium finit tetrachordi magnitudinem. Ita in 

^ intervalles H. ^ add. Lor. 

^ That is taking definite notes at definite intervals. 

^ Or " enharmonic," introduces quarter tones as when we 
divide the interval between E and F. 

' Introduces more subtle intervals even than the quarter 


BOOK V. c. IV. 

sound and the next ; as when we say : sol luxjlos vox. 
For now it is not perceived whence it begins nor 
where it ceases. But that it passes from high to low, 
and from low to high, is heard by the ears. The 
case is opposite with intervals. For when the voice 
is modulated, the voice in changing is directed first to 
one determinate sound and then to another. Doing 
this often backwai'ds and forwards it appears consis- 
tent ^ to the sense of hearing, as when in singing we 
modulate the voice in various ways. When therefore 
the voice is modulated by intervals, the manifest 
limits of the notes make clear where it begins and 
where it breaks off; but the notes within the 
intervals, although clear in themselves, are not 

3. The kinds of modulation are three : first that 
which the Greeks call harmonia ; second chroma ; 
third diatonon. Now harmonic modulation ^ is arti- 
ficially constructed ; singing in this style has a very 
solemn and impressive influence. Chromatic ^ modu- 
lation, by the refinement and " closeness " of its 
transitions, produces an impression of more sweet- 
ness. The diatonic modulation is closer to nature 
and has a more easy distance of its intervals. In 
these three scales, the arrangements of the tetra- 
chords differ. The harmonic scale has two tones in 
the tetrachord and two quarter-tones. (Now two 
quarter-tones make a semitone.) The chromatic 
tetrachord* has two consecutive semitones and the 
third interval is of three semitones. The diatonic 
tetrachord * has two consecutive tones, and the third 
interval — a semitone — completes the amount of the 

* e.g. C D E F. 



tribus generibus tetrachorda ex duobus tonis et 
hemitonio sunt ^ peraequata, sed ipsa cum separa- 
tim uniuscuiusque generis finibus considerantur, 
dissimilem habent intervallorum designationem, 

4 Igitur intervallo tonorum et hemitoniorum et 
tetrachordorum in voce divisit natura finitque 
terminationes eorum mensuris intervallorum quanti- 
tate, modisque cei'tis distantibus constituit qualitates, 
quibus etiam artifices qui organa fabi-icant, ex natura 
constitutis utendo comparant ad concentus con- 
venientes eorum perfectiones. 

5 Sonitus, qui graece phthongi^ dicuntur, in unoquo- 
que genere sunt x et viii, e quibus viii sunt in tribus 
generibus perpetui et stantes, reliqui x, cum commu- 
niter modulantur, sunt vagantes. Stantes autem sunt, 
qui inter mobiles sunt interpositi. Continent tetra- 
chordi coniunctionem et e generum discriminibus 
suis finibus sunt permanentes ; appellantur autem sic : 
proslambanomenos,^ hypate hypaton,* hypate meson,^ 
mese, nete synhemmenon,^ paramese, nete diezeug- 
menon,' nete hyperbolaeon. Mobiles autem sunt, qui 
in tetrachordo inter inmotos dispositi in generibus 
ex ^ locis loca mutant ; vocabula autem habent haec : 
parhypate hypaton, lichanos hypaton, parhypate 
meson, lichanos meson, trite synhemmenon,<^paranete 
synhemmenon,)^ trite diezeugmenon, paranete die- 

^ sunt G : om. H. ^ pthongi H. 

^ iros lambanomenos H. ■* hypate hypato H. 

^ hypatemeson G : hypateon meson H. 

^ nete synemmene H. ' diezeucmene G. 

^ ex Ro: et (&) H. 

' add. Joe, qui haec omnia correxit. 

^ e.g. : in modern music the quantity of the intervals in 
major and minor scales is the same, but the quality of major 
and minor is different. 

BOOK V. c. IV. 

tetrachord. Thus in the three scales the tetrachords 
are equivalent to two tones and a half, but when they 
are considered separately within the limits of each 
scale, they vary in the arrangement of the intervals. 
4. Therefore by the intervals of tones, semitones, 
and tetrachords, nature has divided and defined their 
limits for the voice, measuring them by the quantity 
of the intervals ; and has fixed their quality ^ in 
certain distinct modes. Craftsmen who make instru- 
ments use these proportions which nature has fixed, 
and make perfect their instruments with a view to 
suitable concords.^ 

5. Sounds (which in Greek are called phthongi) are 
eighteen in number for each kind.^ Of these, eight 
are perpetually fixed in the three kinds ; the remain- 
ing ten, when they are modulated in common, are 
found to vary. Now those are fixed which are 
intei-posed between the variable sounds ; they deter- 
mine the combination of the tetrachord, and in 
accordance with the differences of the kinds remain 
in their own limits. Their names are these : pros- 
lambanomenos ; hypate hypaton ; hypate meson ; 
mese ; nete synhemmenor ; paramese ; nete diezeug- 
menon ; nete hyperbol eon. Those sounds are 
shifting which are arranged in the tetrachord between 
the fixed sounds, and change from place to place in 
the three kinds. Their names are these : parhypate 
hypaton ; lichanos hypaton ; parhypate meson ; 
lichanos meson ; trite synhemmenon ; paranete 
synhemmenon ; trite diezeugmenon ; paranete die- 

^ This is heard in the adjustment of the tones of pianos so 
as to fit all scales (temperament). 

^ The figure will indicate the meaning of these technical 
terms : Plate F. 



zeugmenon, trite hyperbolaeon, paranete hyper- 

6 bolaeon. Ei autem qua moventur, recipiunt virtutes 
alias ; intervalla enim et distantias habent crescentes. 
Itaque parhypate, quae in harmonia distat ab hypate 
<(dimidium) ^ hemitonium, in chroma tramutata ^ 
habet hemitonium. Qui ^ hehanos in harmonia 
dicitur, ab hypate distat hemitonium, in chroma 
translata progreditur duo hemitonia, in diatono distat 
ab hypate tria hemitonia. Ita x sonitus propter 
translationes in generibus efficiunt triplicem modu- 
lationum varietatem. Tetrachorda autem sunt quin- 

7 que : primum gravissimum, quod graece dicitur 
hypaton, secundum medianum, quod appellatur 
meson, tertium coniunctum, quod synhemmenon dicitur, 
quartum disiunctum, quod diezeugmenon nominatur, 
quintum, quod est acutissimum, graece hyperbolaeon 
dicitur. Concentos quos natura hominis modulari 
potest, graece quae synphoniae dicuntur, sunt sex : 
diatessaron, diapente, diapason, et disdiatessaron, et 

8 disdiapente, et disdiapason. Ideoque et a numero 
nomina ceperunt, quod, cum vox constiterit in una 
sonorum finitione ab eaque se flectens mutaverit 
et pervenerit in quartam terminationem, appellatur 
diatessaron, in quintam diapente^ [in sextam diapason 
in octavam et dimidiam diapason et diatessaron, in 
nonam et dimidiam diapason diapente, in xii dis- 

9 diapason]. Non enim inter duo intervalla, cum 
chordarum sonitus aut vocis cantus factus fuerit, nee 
in tertia aut sexta aut vii ^ possunt consonantiae 
fieri, sed, uti supra scriptum est, diatessaron et 

^ add. Mar. ^ chromatra mutata H. cf. tianatare. 

^ quae Lor : qui H. * sqq. del. Wihnanns. 

* septem H : vn erf. : septima Cj. 


BOOK V. c. IV. 

zeugmenon ; trite hyperbolaeon ; parenete hyper- 
bolaeon. 6. But those sounds which shift, gain 
various qualities ; for they have increasing intervals 
and distances. Thus the parhypate which in the 
enharmonic is half a semitone from the hypate, has 
a semitone when it is changed to the chromatic. 
What is called lichanos in the enharmonic kind, is 
distant a semitone from the hypate ; transfei'red to 
the chromatic, it advances two semitones ; in the 
diatonic, it is distant three semitones. Thus the 
10 sounds, because of their transpositions in the three 
scales, produce a triple variety of modulation. 
7. Now the tetrachords are five : the first is the lowest 
which in Greek is called hypaton ; the second is the 
middle which is called meson ; the third which is 
joined to these is called synhemmenon\ the fourth 
being separated is called diezeugmenon ; the fifth v/hich 
is the highest is called in Greek hyperholaeoji. The 
concords (in Greek symphoniae) which the human 
voice can modulate are six : diatessaron (fourth) ; 
diapente (fifth) ; diapason (octave) ; disdiatessaron 
(octave and fourth) ; disdiapente (octave and fifth) ; 
disdiapason (two octaves). 8. These have taken 
their names from numbers. For when the voice has 
rested in one fixed sound, and then modulates and 
changes from itself, and comes to the fourth sound it 
is called diatessaron ; when it comes to the fifth, it 
is called diapente ; [to the eighth, diapason ; to the 
eleventh, diapason with diatessaron ; to the twelfth, 
diapason with diapente to the fifteenth disdiapason]. 
9. For concords cannot arise between two intervals, 
when the sound of strings or the song of the voice is 
uttered, nor between three or six or seven ; but, as 
we -SM-ote above, the diatessaron and diapente up to 



diapente et ex ordine disdiapason convenientiae 
ex natura vocis congruentis habent finitiones. Et 
ei coventus ^ procreantur ex coniunctione sonituum, 
qui graeee phthongi dicuntur. 


1 Ita ex his indagationibus mathematicis rationibus 
fiant vasa aerea pro ratione magnitudinis theatri, 
eaque ita fabricentur, ut, cum tangantur, sonitum 
facere possint inter se diatessaron diapente ex ordine 
ad disdiapason. Postea inter sedes theatri constitutis 
celUs ratione musica ibi conloeentur ita, uti nullum 
parietem tangant circaque habeant ^ locum vacuum 
et ab summo capite spatium, ponanturque inversa et 
habeant ^ in parte, quae spectat ad scaenam, suppo- 
sitos cuneos ne minus altos semipede ; contraque eas 
cellas relinquantur aperturae inferiorum graduum ^ 

2 cubilibus longae pedes duo, altae semipede. Desig- 
nationes autem eorum, quibus in locis constituantur, 
sic explicentur. Si non erit ampla magnitudine 
theatrum, media altitudinis transversa regio desig- 
netur et in ea tredecim celiac duodecim aequalibus 
intervallis distantes confornicentur, uti ea echea ^ 
quae supra scripta sunt, ad neten^ hyperbolaeon 
sonantia ^ in cellis quae sunt in cornibus extremis, 
utraque parte prima conloeentur, secunda ab extremis 

^ cf. coventio S. C. Bacch. 
^ locum . . . habeant his ponit H. 
^ graduu G : gradibus H. 
* ea echea Joe : eae echo H. 
^ netent H. ^ sonentia H. 


BOOK V. c. iv.-c. V. 

the disdiapason ai'e concords which have Umits 
arising from the nature of the voice. And these 
concords are produced from the conjunction of 
sounds which in Greek are called pkthongi. 



1. Hence in accordance with these enquiries, 
bronze ^ vases are to be made in mathematical 
ratios corresponding with the size of the theatre. 
They are to be so made that, when they are touched, 
they can make a sound from one to another of a 
fourth, a fifth and so on to the second octave. Then 
compartments are made among the seats of the 
theatre, and the vases are to be so placed there that 
they do not touch the wall, and have an empty space 
around them and above. They are to be placed 
upside down. On the side looking towards the stage, 
they are to have wedges put under them not less 
than half a foot high. Against these cavities 
openings are to be left in the faces of the lower steps 
two feet long and half a foot high. 2. The planning 
of them and the places in which they are to be are 
to be thus set forth. If the theatre is not of large 
dimensions, in the middle of the height, a transverse 
line is to be drawn. In that, thirteen cavities separ- 
ated by twelve equal distances are to be arched 
over, so that those vases above referred to, giving the 
note of the nete hyperbolaeon, may be placed at each 
end ; second from the end, vases of the nete diezeug- 

1 Earthenware vases, apparently for this purpose, have been 
found in ancient theatres, but not bronze vases. 



diatessaron ad neten diezeugmenon,^ tertia diates- 
saron ad paramesen,^ quarta ad neten synhenimenon, 
quinta diatessaron ad mesen, sexta diatessaron ad 
hypaten meson, in medio unum diatessaron ad 

3 hypaten hypaton. Ita hac ratiocinatione vox a 
scaena uti ab centro profusa se circumagens tactuque 
feriens singulorum vasorum cava excitaverit auctam 
claritatem et ^ concentu convenientem sibi con- 
sonantiam. Sin autem amplior erit magnitudo 
theatri, tunc altitudo dividatur in partes mi, uti tres 
efficiantur regiones cellarum transverse designatae, 
una harmoniae, altera chromatos, tertia diatoni. Et 
ab imo quae erit prima, ea ex liarmonia conlocetur, 

4 ita uti in minore theatro supra scriptum est. In medi- 
ana autem prima in extremis cornibus ad chromaticen 
hyperbolaeon habentia sonitum ponantur, in secundis 
ab his diatessaron ad chromaticen diezeugmenon, in 
tertiis ad chromaticen synhemmenon,'* quartis diates- 
saron ad chromaticen meson, quintis diatessaron ad 
chromaticen hypaton, sextis ad paramesen, quod et 
in chromaticen hyperbolaeon diapente et ad chroma- 
ticen meson diatessaron habeant consonantiae com- 

6 munitatem. In medio nihil est conlocandum, ideo 
quod sonitum nulla alia qualitas in chromatico genera 
sym.phoniae consonantiam potest habere. In summa 
vero divisione et regione cellarum in cornibus primis 
ad diatonon hyperbolaeon fabricata vasa sonitu 
ponantur, in secundis diatessaron ad diatonon 
<^ diezeugmenon^,^ tertiis^ ad diatonon synhemmenon, 

^ diezeugmenon Joe : synhemmenu H. 

^ ad paramesen Perr : adnethen ad paramesen H. 

^ et Joe : ex H. 

* in tertiis ad chrom. synhemmenon Lor : in tertiis 
diatessaron ad chrom, synhemmenu H. 

* add. ed. Ven. 

* tertiis ad diatonon Lor : tertiis diatessaron ad diatonum H. 

BOOK V. c. V. 

menon at an interval of one fourth from the last ; 
third from the end at the paramese (another fourth) ; 
the fourth set of vases at the nete synhemmenon ; 
the fifth at the mese (interval of a fourth) ; the sixth 
set at the hypate meson (interval of a fourth) ; in the 
middle one vase at the hypate hypaton. 3. Thus by 
this calculation the voice, spreading from the stage as 
from a centre and strikii:ig by its contact the hollows 
of the several vases, will arouse an increased clearness 
of sound, and, by the concord, a consonance harmonis- 
ing with itself. But if the theatre is larger, then the 
height is to be divided into 4 parts, so that three lines 
of cavities are drawn crosswise, one enharmonic, a 
second chromatic, the third diatonic. The first from 
the bottom is to be arranged for the enharmonic kind 
as described above for the smaller theatre. 4. In 
the middle series on the extreme wings, the first vases 
are to be put with a note of the chromatic hyper- 
bolaeon ; in the second cavities at the interval of 
a fourth, the chromatic diezeugmenon ; in the third 
the chromatic synhemmenon ; in the fourth cavities, 
at the interval of a fourth, the chromatic meson ; in 
the fifth at the interval of a fourth the chromatic 
hypaton ; in the sixth the paramese, which has a 
fifth interval to the chromatic hyperbolaeon, and an 
interval of a fourth to the chromatic synhemmenon. 
5. In the centre nothing is to be put, because no 
other quality of sound has a share in the concords of 
the chromatic kind. In the top ^ division and line 
of cavities, vases are to be put in the extreme wings, 
made to sound the diatonic hyperbolaeon ; in the 
second at the interval of a fourth the diatonic die- 
zeugmenon ; in the third the diatonic synhemme- 
non ; in the fourth (at the interval of a fourth) the 
1 See Plate F. 



quartis diatessaron ad diatonon meson, quintis diates- 
saron ad diatonon hypaton, sextis diatessaron ad pros- 
lambanomenon, in medio ad mesen, quod ea et ad 
proslambanomenon diapason et ad diatonon hypaton 

6 diapente habet symphoniarum communitates. Haec 
autem si qui voluevit ad perfeetum facile perducere, 
animadvertat in extreme libro diagramma musica 
ratione designatum, quod Aristoxenus magno vigore 
et industria generatim divisis modulationibus con- 
stitutum reliquit, de quo, si qui ratiocinationibus 
his attenderit, ad naturas vocis et audientium delecta- 
tiones facilius valuerit theatrorum efficere perfectiones. 

7 Dicet ahquis forte multa theatra quotannis Romae 
facta esse neque ullam rationem harum rerum in his 
fuisse ; sed errabit ^ in eo, quod omnia publica lignea 
theatra tabulationes habent complures, quas necesse 
est sonare. Hoc vero hcet animadvertere etiam ab 
citharoedis qui, superiore tono cum volunt canere, 
avertunt se ad scaenae valvas ^ et ita recipiunt ab 
earum auxilio consonantiam vocis. Cum autem ex 
sohdis rebus theatra constituuntur, id est ex 
structura caementorum, lapide,^ marmore, quae 
sonare non possunt, tunc echeis ■* hae rationes sunt 

8 exphcandae. Sin autem quaeritur, in quo theatro ea 
sint facta, Romae non possumus ostendere, sed in 
Italiae regionibus ^ et in pluribus Graecorum civitati- 
bus. Etiamque auctorem habemus Lucium Mum- 
mium qui diruto theatro Corinthiorum ea aenea 

1 errabit Phil : erravit H. ^ valbas H. 

^ lapido H. * echeis Ro : exhis H. 

* regionibus Joe {rec) : regiones H. 

1 cf. Plate F. 

^ These were wooden erections. Pompey was attacked foi 
building a permanent stone theatre. Similarly the temporary 

BOOK V. c. V. 

diatonic meson ; in the fifth at the interval of a fourth 
at the diatonic hypaton ; in the sixth at the interval 
of a fourth the proslambanomenos ; in the middle the 
mese, between which and the proslambanomenos is an 
octave, and a fifth to the diatonic hypaton. 6. If 
anyone wishes to bring all this to execution, let him 
note at the end of the book a diagi-am ^ drawn in 
accordance with the method of music, which Aristo- 
xenus, employing a sound and careful method, has 
left to us arranged with the modulations according 
to their kinds. If he attends to these calculations, 
he will the more easily be able to erect theatres 
adapted to the nature of the voice and the pleasure 
of the audience. 

7. Someone will say, perhaps, that many theatres ^ 
are built every year at Rome without taking any 
account of these matters. He will be mistaken in 
this. All public wooden theatres have several wooden 
floors which must naturally resound. We can observe 
this also from those who sing to the zither, who when 
they wish to sing with a louder tone, turn to the 
wooden scenery, and, with this help, gain resonance 
for their voice. But when theatres are built of solids, 
that is of rubble walling, stone or marble which 
cannot resound, the use of bronze vases is to be 
followed. 8. But if you ask in what theatre this is 
done, we cannot show any at Rome, but we must turn 
to the regions of Italy, and to many Greek cities. 
We find a precedent in Lucius Mummius ^ who 
destroyed the theatre at Corinth, and transported 

structures had been attacked for affording seats to the 
spectators who were thereby encouraged to spend the day in 
idleness. Tac. A7in. XIV. 20. 
3 B.C. 146. 



Romam deportavit et de manubiis ad aedcm Lunae 
dedicavit. Multi etiarn sollertes architecti, qui in 
oppidis non magnis theatra constituerunt, propter 
inopiam fictilibus doleis ita sonantibus electis hac 
ratiocinatione compositis perfecerunt utilissimos 


1 Ipsius autem theatri conformatio sic est facienda, 
uti, quam magna futura est perimetros imi, centre 
medio conlocato circumagatur linea rutundationis,^ in 
eaque quattuor scribantm- trigona paribus ^ lateribus ; 
intervallis extremam lineam circinationis,^ tangant, 
quibus etiam in duodecim signorum caelestium 
astrologia ^ ex musica convenientia astrorum ratio- 
cinantur. Ex his trigonis cuius latus fuerit proxi- 
mum scaenae, ea regione, qua ^ praecidit curvaturam 
circinationis, ibi finiatur ^ scaenae frons, et ab eo loco 
per centrum parallelos linea ducatur, quae disiungat 

2 proscaenii pulpitum et orchestrae regionem. Ita 
latius factum fuerit pulpitum quam Graecorum, 
quod omnes artifices in scaena "^ dant operam, in or- 
chestra autem senatorum sunt sedibus loca designata. 
Et eius pulpiti altitudo sit ne plus pedum quinque, 
uti, qui in orchestra sederint, spectare possint 
omnium agentium gestus. Cunei spectaculorum in 
theatro ita dividantur, uti anguli trigonorum, qui 

^ rutundationes H. ^ partibus H. 

^ circinnationes H. * astrologia Lor : astrologi H. 

* qua Joe : quae H. * finiantur H. '' caena H. 

1 On the Aventine, destroyed in the Neronian fire. Tac. 
Ann. XV. 41. Plainer 320. 


BOOK V. c. v.-c. VI. 

these bronze vessels to Rome, and dedicated them, 
from the spoils, at the temple of Lmia.^ Fm-ther 
many clever architects, who in towns of moderate size 
have built theatres, have chosen, for cheapness' sake, 
earthenware vessels with similar sounds, and arrang- 
ing them in this way have produced very useful 



1. The plan ^ of the theatre is to be thus arranged : 
that the centre is to be taken, of the dimension 
allotted to the orchestra at the ground level. The 
circumference is to be drawn ; and in it four equila- 
teral triangles are to be described touching the 
circumference at intervals (just as in the case of the 
twelve celestial signs, astronomers calculate from 
the musical division of the constellations). Of these 
triangles the side of that which is nearest the scene, 
will determine the front of the scene, in the part 
where it cuts the curve of the circle. Through the 
centre of the circle a parallel line is drawn which is to 
divide the platform of the proscenium from the 
orchestra. 2. Thus the stage will be made wider 
that that of the Greeks because all the actors play 
their parts on the stage, whereas the orchestra is 
allotted to the seats of the senators.^ The height of 
the stage is not to be more than 5 feet, so that 
those who are seated in the orchestra can see the 
gestures of all the actors. The blocks of seats in the 
theatre are so to be divided that the angles of the 

2 Plate G shows the plan of a small theatre. 

^ The Greek chorus was in the orchestra. 



currunt circum curvaturam circinationis,^ dirigant 
ascensus scalasque inter cuneos ad primani praecinc- 
tioneni ; supra autem alternis itineribus superiores 

3 ciinei niedii dirigantur. Hi autem, qui sunt in inio et 
dirigunt scalaria, erunt numero vii ; reliqui quinque 
seaenae designabunt compositionem : et unus medius 
contra se valvas regias habere debet, et qui erunt 
dextra sinistra, hospitaliorum designabunt composi- 
tionem, extremi duo spectabunt itinei-a versurarum. 
Gradus spectaculorum, ubi subsellia componantur, 
gradus ne minus alti sint palmopede,'(ne plus pedem^^ 
et digito sex ; latitudines eorum ne plus pedes duo 

4 semis, ne minus pedes duo constituantur. Tectum 
porticus, quod futurum est in summa gradatione 
cum seaenae altitudine libratum perspiciatur, ideo 
quod vox crescens aequaliter ad summas gradationes 
et tectum perveniet. Namque si non erit aequale, 
quo minus fuerit altum, vox praeripietur ad earn 

6 altitudinem, quam perveniet primo. Orchestra inter 
grados^ imos quod diametron habuerit, eius sexta 
pars sumatur*, et in cornibus, utrumque aditus eius 
mensurae perpendiculum interiores sedes praeci- 
dantur, et quae praecisio fuerit, ibi constituantur 
itinerum supercilia ; ita enim satis altitudinem 

6 habebunt eorum confornicationes. Seaenae longi- 
tudo ad orchestrae diametron duplex ^ fieri debet. 
Podii altitudo ab libramento pulpiti cum corona et 
lysi duodecumam orchestrae diametri. Supra podium 

^ circinationis G : -nes H. ^ add. Joe. 

^ gradus G. * summatur H. ^ dupl& H. 

^ Lit. " sighted." 


BOOK V. c. VI. 

triangles which run round the curve of the circle 
indicate the ascents and the steps between the blocks 
to the first circular passage. Above, the upper blocks 
of seats are arranged with alternate staircases facing 
the middle of the lower blocks. 3. The angles which 
are on the ground floor of the theatre and determine 
the staircases will be 7 in number. The remaining 
5 will indicate the arrangement of the stage. One in 
the middle should have the palace doors opposite to 
it. Those which are to the right and left, will 
indicate the apartments provided for strangers. The 
furthest two will regard the direction of the revolving 
scenes. As to the rows of the auditorium where the 
seats are placed, the seats are not to be lower than 
16 inches nor more than 18. The width is not to be 
more than 2h feet nor less than 2 feet. 4. The roof of 
the colonnade, which is to be built on the top row of 
steps, is to be so planned ^ as to be level with the top 
of the back M'all of the stage, because thereby the 
voice will rise evenly until it reaches the top seats 
and the roof. For if the roof is not level, the lower it 
is, to that extent the voice will be interrupted, at the 
height which it reaches first. 5. As to the orchestra, 
a sixth part is to be taken of its diameter between the 
lowest steps. On the wings at either side of the 
entrance, the inmost seats are to be cut back to a 
perpendicular height equal to that sixth. Whatever 
the amount of this cutting oil" is, fixes the spring of 
the arch over the passages. In this way their vault- 
ing will have sufficient height. 6. The length of the 
stage must be twice the width of the orchestra. The 
height of the pedestal of the back wall above the level 
of the stage, along with the cornice and moulding, 
is to be one twelfth of the diameter of the oi-chestra. 



columnae cum capitulis et spiris altae quarta parte 
ciusdem diametri ; epistylia et ornamenta earum 
columnarum altitudinis quinta parte. Pluteum in- 
super cum unda et corona inferioris plutei dimidia 
parte. Supra id pluteum columnae quarta parte 
minore altitudine sint quam inferiores ; epistylium et 
ornamenta earum columnarum quinta parte. Item 
si tertia episcenos futura erit, mediani plutei sum- 
mum sit dimidia parte ; columnae summae media- 
narum ^ minus altae sint quarta parte ; epistylia cum 
coronis earum columnarum item habeant altitudinis 
quintam partem. 
7 Nee tamen in omnibus theatris symmetriae ad 
omnis rationes et efFectus possunt respondere, sed 
oportet 2 architectum animadvertere, quibus propor- 
tionibus necesse sit sequi symmetriam et quibus ad 
loci naturam aut magnitudinem operis temperari. 
Sunt enim res quas et in pusillo et in magno theatro 
necesse est eadem magnitudine fieri propter usum, 
uti gradus, diazumata, pluteos, itinera, ascensus, pul- 
pita, tribunalia et si qua alia intercuiTunt, ex quibus 
necessitas cogit discedere ab symmetria, ne in- 
pediatur usus. Non minus si qua exiguitas copiarum, 
id est marmoris, materiae reliquarumque rerum, 
quae parantur in opere defuerint, paulum demere 
aut adicere, dum id ne nimium inprobe fiat sed cum 
sensu, non erit alienum. Hoc autem erit, si archi- 
tectus erit usu peritus, praeterea ingenio mobili 
sollertiaque non fuerit viduatus. 

^ columnae summae medianarum rec : columnae summae 
media parte columnae summae medianarum H. 
- oportere H G. 

1 Tribunalia : for magistrates. 

BOOK V. c. VI. 

Above the pedestal, the columns with capitals and 
bases are to be of a height equal to one quarter of the 
diameter ; the architrave and ornaments, one fifth 
part of their height. The parapet above, with its 
base and cornice, is to be one half of the lower parapet 
(or pedestal). Above the parapet are to be columns 
one fourth less in height than the lower ones ; the 
architrave and ornaments a fifth of those columns. 
If there is to be a third order, the top parapet is to be 
half of the middle one. The top columns are to be 
one quarter less in height than the middle ; the archi- 
traves with the cornices are also to have one fifth 
of the height of those columns. 

7. Nevertheless it is not in all theatres that the 
dimensions can answer to all the effects proposed. 
The architect must observe in what proportions 
symmetry must be followed, and how it must be 
adjusted to the nature of the site or the magnitude 
of the work. For there are details which must be of 
the same dimensions both in a small, and in a large 
theatre, since their use is the same. Such are the 
steps, the semi-circular passages, the parapets, the 
ordinary passages, the steps up, the height of the 
stage, the boxes ^ ; and whatever else occurs to 
compel us to depart from proportion in the interest of 
convenience. Similarly if scantness ^ of materials, 
such as marble, timber and other supplies, meet us in 
the work, it will not be inappropriate to make slight 
additions or deductions, provided this is done with 
taste and so as to avoid a clumsy effect. Such will be 
the result, if the architect in addition to being ex- 
perienced, is not devoid of a versatile mind and 
technical skill. 

- Exiguitas, by anacoluthon, lacks its verb : its equivalent 
defuerint supplies /«eri;7. 



8 Ipsae autem scaenae suas habent rationes ex- 
plicitas ita, uti mediae valvae ornatus habeant aulae 
regiae, dextra ac sinistra hospitalia, secundum autem 
spatia ad ornatus comparata, quae loca Graeci peri- 
acius dicunt ab eo, quod machinae sunt in his locis 
versatiles trigones habentes in singula tres species 
ornationis, quae, cum aut fabularum mutationes sunt 
futurae seu deorum adventus, cum tonitribus repen- 
tinis ea versentur mutentque speciem ornationis in 
frontes. Secundum ea loca versurae sunt procur- 
rentes, quae efficiunt una a foro, altera a peregre 

9 aditus in scaenam. Genera autem sunt scaenarum 
tria : unum quod dicitur tragicum, alterum comicum, 
tertium satyricum. Horum autem ornatus sunt inter 
se dissimili disparique ratione, quod tragicae defor- 
mantur columnis et fastigiis et signis reliquisque 
regalibus rebus ; comicae autem aedificiorum priva- 
torum et maenianorum^ habent speciem profectus- 
que - fenestris dispositos imitatione communium 
aedificiorum rationibus ; satyricae vero ornantur 
arboribus, speluncis, montibus reliquisque agrestibus 
rebus in topeodi^ speciem deformati. 


In Graeeorum theatris non omnia isdem rationibus 
sunt facienda, quod primum in ima circinatione, ut 
in latino trigonorum mi, in eo quadratorum trium 

^ moenianorum H. 

- prospectus ed. Yen : profectus //. 

3 c/. topia Book VII. v. 2. 

^ The periaktos on the spectator's right represented the 
locality of the action : on the left, foreign parts. 


BOOK V. c. vi.-c. vn. 

8. The scenery itself is so arranged that the middle 
doors are figured like a I'oyal palace, the doors on 
the right and left are for strangers. Next on either 
side are the spaces prepared for scenery. These are 
called perialitoi in Greek (revolving wings) from the 
three-sided machines which turn having on their 
three sides as many kinds of subject. When there 
are to be changes in the play or when the gods appear 
with sudden thunders, they are to turn and change 
the kind of subject presented to the audience. Next 
to these the angles of the walls run out which contain 
the entrances to the stage one from the public square ^ 
and the other from the country. 9. There are three 
styles of scenery : one which is called tragic ; a 
second, comic ; the third, satyric. Now the subjects 
of these differ severally one from another. The 
tragic are designed with columns, pediments and 
statues and other royal surroundings ; the comic 
have the appearance of private buildings and balconies 
and projections with windows made to imitate 
reality, after the fashion of ordinary buildings ; the 
satyric settings are painted with trees, caves, moun- 
tains and other countiy features, designed to imitate 



1. In the Greek theatres ^ some things are done 
differently. Firstly, in the orchestra, the angles of 
three squares touch the circumference, whereas in 
the Roman theatre we have the angles of four 

^ Louis Dyer " Vitruvius' account of the Greek stage," 
J.E.8. XII. 356 ff. 

VOL. I. U 


anguli circiiiationis lineam tangunt, et cuius quadrati 
latus est pi-oximum scaenae praeciditque curvaturam ^ 
circinationis, ea regione designatur finitio proscaenii. 
Et ab ea regione ad extremam circinationem cur- 
vaturae parallelos linea designatur, in qua consti- 
tuitur frons scaenae, per centrumque orchestrae 
proscaenii regione parallelos ^ linea describitur, et 
qua ^ secat circinationis lineas dextra ac sinistra, in 
cornibus hemicycli centra signantur. Et circino 
collocato in dextra ab intervallo sinistro circumagatur 
circinatio ad proscaenii sinistrani * partem ; item 
centro conlocato in sinistro cornu ab intervallo 
dextro circumagitur ad proscaenii dextram partem.^ 
2 Ita tribus centris hac descriptione ampliorem habent ^ 
orchestram Graeci et scaenam recessiorem minoreque 
latitudine pulpitum, quod logeion "^ appellant, ideo 
quod <(apud) ^ eos tragici et comici actores in scaena 
peragunt, reliqui autem artifices suas per orchestram 
praestant actiones ; itaque ex eo scaenici et thyme- 
lici graece separatim nominantur. Eius loci altitudo 
non minus debet esse pedum x, non plus duodecim. 
Gradationes scalarum inter cuneos et sedes contra 
quadratorum angulos dirigantur ad primam prae- 
cinctionem, a praecinctione inter eas iterum mediae 
dirigantur, et ad summam quotiens praecinguntur, 
altero tanto semper amplificantur. 

1 curvatura H. ^ per alleles H. 

^ qua Phil : quae H. * sinistram Mar : dextram H. 

^ item centro . . . dextram partem post ampliorem habent 
H : trcmsp. Joe. 

* restituit Joe, ' Aoyetov Joe : longion H. 

® add. rec. 


BOOK V. c. VII. 

triangles. In the Greek the line of the proscenium 
(or stage) is drawn along the side of the square which 
is nearest to the scenery, where it cuts the circum- 
ference. On the same side, parallel to this a line is 
drawn to touch the outside of the circle, and on this 
the front of the scenery is marked out. Through 
the centre of the orchestra a line is desci-ibed parallel 
to the proscenium ; where it cuts the circumference 
right and left, centres are marked at the ends of the 
semi-circle. Fixing the centre of the compasses on 
the right, with a radius equal to the distance of the 
left point, a circle is drawn to the left side of the 
proscenium. In the same way, the centre is fixed 
on the left and with a radius equal to the distance of 
the right, a circle is drawn to intersect the right side 
of the proscenium. 2. Thus the Greeks have a 
wider orchestra, di'awn from these three centres. 
The scenery is more recessed. The stage is nar- 
rower : this they call logeion (speaking-place), for the 
reason that the tragic and comic actors deliver their 
speeches on the stage. The other artists carry on 
their action in the orchestra. Hence the Greek 
gives them separate names : stage players and 
chorus {scaenici et thymeUci). The height of the 
stage is not to be less than ten feet, nor more than 
twelve. The staircases between the lowest blocks 
of seats are to be arranged opposite the several 
angles of the squares up to the first horizontal gang- 
way ; between the tops of the first staircases, higher 
flights are to be put at halfway intervals along the 
gangway. And generally speaking, they are to be 
doubled in number when a gangway is reached. 




1 Cum haec omnia summa cura sollertiaque explicata 
sunt, tunc etiani diligentius. Est enim advertendum, 
uti sit electus ^ locus, in quo leniter adplicet se vox 
neque repulsa resiliens incertas auribus referat 
significationes. Sunt enim nonnuUi loci naturaliter 
inpedientes vocis motus, uti dissonantes, qui graece 
dicuntur catechountes,^ circumsonantes, qui apud eos 
nominantui* periechountes,^ item resonantes, qui dicun- 
tur a?itechountes,'^ consonantesque, quos appellant 
synechountas.^ Dissonantes sunt, in quibus vox 
prima, cum est elata in altitudinem, offensa superiori- 
bus solidis corporibus repulsaque residens in imo 

2 opprimit insequentis vocis elationem ; circumso- 
nantes autem, in quibus circumvagando coacta ex- 
solvens in medio sine extremis casibus sonans ibi 
extinguatur incerta verborum significatione ; reso- 
nantes vero, in quibus, cum in solido tactu percussa 
resiliant, imagines exprimendo novissimos casus 
duplices faciant auditu ; item consonantes sunt, in 
quibus ab imis auxiliata cum incremento scandens 
egrediatur ad aures disserta ^ verborum claritate. Ita 
si in locorum electione fuerit diligens animadversio, 
emendatus erit prudentia ad utilitatem in theatris 
vocis effectus. Formarum autem descriptiones inter 
se discriminibus his erunt notatae, uti, quae ' ex 
quadra tis designentur, Graecorum habeant usus, 

^ uti sit electus Joe : utiselectos H. 

- caticontcs H. ^ periechontes H. 

^ antechontas H. ^ synechontas H. 

* disserta H. ' ut quae Joe : itaque H. 





1. Now that all these matters are set forth with 
careful skill, diligent consideration must be given. 
For we must choose a site in which the voice may 
fall smoothly, and may reach the ear with a definite 
utterance and without the interference of echoes. 
For there are some places which naturally hinder the 
passage of the voice : the dissonant which the Greek 
call katechountes ; the circumsonant which are named 
by them periechountes ; the resonant also which are 
called antechountes ; the consonant which they name 
synechountes. The dissonant places are those in 
which the voice, when first it rises upwards, meets 
solid bodies above. It is driven back, and settling 
down, overwhelms the following utterance as it rises. 
2. The circumsonant are those in which the voice 
moves round, is collected and dissipated in the 
centre. The terminations of the words are lost and 
the voice is swallowed up in a confused utterance. 
The resonant are those in which the words, striking 
against a solid body, give rise to echoes and make 
the termination of the words double to the ear. 
The consonant also are those in which the voice 
reinforced from the ground rises with greater fulness, 
and reaches the ear with clear and eloquent accents. 
Thus if careful observation is exei-cised in the choice 
of sites, such skill will be rewarded by the improved 
effect of the actors' voices. To sum up, the outlines 
of the plans \vill be marked by these differences 
among themselves, namely, those plans follow Greek 
usage which are designed from squares ; the Roman 



latine paribus ^ lateribus trigonorum. Ita his prae- 
scriptionibus (jui voluerit uti, eniendatas efficiet 
theatrorum perfcctiones. 


1 Post scaenam porticus sunt constituendae, uti, cum 
imbres repentini ludos interpellaverint, habeat 
populus, quo se recipiat ex theatro, choragiaque 
laxamentum habeant ad comparandum. Uti sunt 
porticus Pompeianae, itemque Athenis porticus 
Eunieniae Patrisque Liberi fanum et exeuntibus e 
theati'O sinistra parte odeum, quod Themistocles 
columnis lapideis dispositis navium malis et antemnis 
e spoliis Persicis pei'texit (idem autem etiam incen- 
sum Mithridatico bello rex Ariobarzanes restituit) ; 
Smyrnae Stratoniceum ; Trallibus ^ porticus ex 
utraque parte, ut^ scaenae, supra stadium; ceterisque 
civitatibus, quae diligentiores habuerunt architectos, 

2 circa theatra sunt porticus et ambulationes. Quae 
videntur ita oportere conlocari, uti duplices sint 
habeantque exteriores columnas doricas cum epis- 

^ paribus Joe : raribus H. 
^ Trallibus ed : trabibus H. ^ est Kr : ut H. 

^ Lit. "in the Roman manner," c/. ionice, Book VII. 
pref. 12. 

^ X°PVy^^ Arist. Poef. 14. 2. 

^ No remains above ground. The statue of Pompey of the 
Palazzo Spada found near. 

* Eumenes II. of Pergamus. The colonnades connected the 
Theatre with the Odeum. 

* The temple of Dionysus Eleuthereus adjoined the theatre, 
Paus. I. 20. 

* The present Odeum was built about 160 a.d. 


BOOK V. c. viii.-c. IX. 

theatres,^ from equilateral triangles. Whoever uses 
these rules, will be successful in building theatres. 



1. Behind the stage, colonnades are to be planned 
so that when the play is interrupted by sudden 
showers, the audience may have a place of refuge ; the 
colonnades may also furnish room to set up the stage 
machinery.^ At Rome there are the Colonnades of 
Pompey ^ ; at Athens there are the Colonnades of 
Eumenes,^ the Temple of Bacchus,^ and as you leave 
the theatre, on the left-hand side there is the Odeum.^ 
This "^ Themistocles planned with stone columns 
and completed with masts and yards from the 
Persian spoils. It was burnt in the Mithridatic 
War ^ and King Ariobarzanes ^ restored it. At 
Smyrna is the Colonnade of Stratonice.^" At Tralles 
there are colonnades above the stadium on either 
side, like those of a theatre. In other cities also 
which have had skilful architects there are colon- 
nades and walks adjoining the theatres. 2. These, 
it appears, should be so planned that they are double,^^ 
having Doric columns on the outside finished with 

■^ Completed by Pericles. Plut. vit. 13. 

^ Athens taken by Sulla B.C. 86. 

* Ariobarzanes Philopator, king of Cappadocia c 60 B.C., 
entrusted the work to Roman architects, C. and M. Stallms, 
cf. Wilm. 1941. I.G. III. 541. 

i« Tac. Ann. III. 63. 

11 As in Colonnade of Octavius, Plin. N.H. XXXIV. 13; 
Platner 426. This had Corinthian capitals. 



tyliis et ornamentis ex ratione modulationis ^ per- 
fectas. Latitudines autem earum ita oportere fieri 
videntur, uti, quanta altitude columnae fuerit 
exteriores, tantam latitudinem habeant ab inferiore 
parte columnarum extremarum ad medias et a 
niedianis ad parietes qui circumcludunt porticus 
ambulationes. Medianae autem columnae quinta 
parte altiores sint quam exteriores, sed aut ionico 

3 aut corinthio genere deformentur. Columnarum 
autem proportiones et symmetriae non erunt isdem 
rationibus quibus in aedibus sacris scripsi ; aliam 
enim in deorum templis debent habere gravitatem, 
aliam in porticibus et ceteris operibus subtilitatem. 
Itaque si dorici generis erunt columnae, dimetiantur ^ 
earum altitudines cum capitulis in partes xv. Ex eis 
partibus una constituatur et fiat modulus, ad cuius 
moduli rationem omnis operis erit explicatio. Et in 
imo 3 columnae crassitude fiat duorum modulorum ; 
intercolumnium quinque et moduli dimidia parte ; 
altitudo columnae praeter capitulum xiiii modulo- 
rum ; capituli altitudo moduli unius, latitudo modu- 
lorum duorum et moduli sextae partis. Ceteri 
operis modulationes, uti in aedibus sacris in libro ini 

4 scriptum est, ita pcrficiantur. Sin autem ionicae 
columnae fient, scapus ^ praeter spiram et capitulum 
in octo et dimidiam partem dividatur, et ex his una ^ 
crassitudini columnae detur ; {spira) ^ cum plintho 
dimidia crassitudine constituatur "^ ; capituli ratio ita 
fiat, uti in libro tertio est demonstratum. Si corinthia 
erit, scapus et spira uti in ionica ; capitulum autem, 
quemadmodum in quarto libro est scriptum, ita 

* modulationes H. ^ demetriantur H. 

^ in imo Joe : in primo //. ^ scaphus H, 

^ una G : om, H. ^ add. Joe. 


BOOK V. c. IX. 

architraves and ornaments in due proportion. The 
width of the colonnades should be arranged as follows. 
Taking the height of the outer columns, this will give 
the width from the lower part of the outer columns 
to the middle columns and from the middle columns 
to the walls which surround the walks of the colon- 
nades. The middle columns are to be designed one 
fifth higher than the outer ones, and either in the 
Ionic or Corinthian style. 3. The proportions and 
symmetries of the columns will not be calculated in 
the same way as I have described for sacred edifices. 
In the temples of the gods dignity should be aimed 
at ; in colonnades and other similar works, elegance. 
And so if the columns are in the Doric style, their 
height including the capitals is to be divided into 
15 parts of which one is to be the module. The 
planning of the whole work is to be calculated to this 
module. The thickness of the column at the foot is 
to be of two modules. The intercolumniation is to 
be 5 1/2 modules. The height of the column excluding 
the capital is to be 14 modules. The height of the 
capital is to be one module ; the width 2 1/6 modules. 
The proportions of the rest of the work are to be com- 
pleted as laid down in the fourth book for sacred 
edifices. 4. But if the columns are Ionic, the shaft 
apart from the base and capital is to be divided into 
8 1/2 parts and of these one is to be given to the 
diameter of the column. The base, Avith the plinth, 
is to be of half the diameter. The capital is to be 
designed as set forth in the third book. If the 
column is Corinthian, the shaft and base are to be as 
in the Ionic, but the capital is to be proportioned as 

' constituatxir ed : -antur H. 



habeant rationem. Stylobatisque adiectio quae fit 
per scabillos ^ inpai-es,^ ex descriptione, quae supra 
scripta est in libro tertio, sumatur. Epistylia, 
coronae ceteraque omnia ad columnarum rationem ex 
scriptis voluminum superiorum explicentur. 

5 Media vero spatia quae erunt subdiu inter por- 
tions, adornanda viridibus videntur, quod hypaethroe 
ambulationes habent magnam salubritatem. Et 
primum oculorum, quod ex viridibus subtilis ^ et 
extenuatus aer propter motionem corporis influens 
perlimat speciem et ita auferens ex oculis umorem 
crassum, aciem tenuem et acutam speciem relinquit ^ ; 
praeterea, cum coi-pus motionibus in ambulatione 
calescat, umores ex membris aer exsugendo inminuit 
plenitates extenuatque ^ dissipando quod plus inest 

6 quam corpus potest sustinere. Hoc autem ita esse 
ex eo licet animadvertere, quod, sub tectis cum sint 
aquarum fontes aut etiam sub terra palustris abun- 
dantia, ex his nullus surgit umor nebulosus, sed in 
apertis hypaethrisque locis, cum sol oriens vapore 
tangat mundum, ex umidis et abundantius excitat 
umores et exconglobatos in altitudinem tollit. Ergo 
si ita videtur, uti in hypaethris locis ab aere umores 
ex corporibus exsugantur molestiores, quemadmodum 
ex terra per nebulas videntur, non puto dubium esse, 
quin amplissimas et ornatissimas subdiu hypae- 
thrisque ^ conlocari oporteat in eivitatibus ambula- 

7 tiones. Eae autem uti sint semper siccae et non 

1 scabillos H : scabillum Am. Pf. 98. 6. 

^ inpares Joe : inpartes H. * subtilis G : subtiles H. 

* relinquit G : -quid H. ^ extenuatique H. 

* hypetrisque H. 

^ The Romans suffered severely from inflamed eyes. There 
were eye-doctors, ocularii. 


BOOK V. c. IX. 

set forth in the fourth book. The addition to the 
stylobates is to be made by unequal ordinates in 
accordance with the description which is given above 
in the third book. The architraves, cornices and 
other features are to be arranged to suit the columns 
in accordance with the previous books. 

5. The open spaces which are between the colon- 
nades under the open sky, are to be arranged with 
green plots ; because walks in the open are very 
healthy, first for the eyes,^ because from the green 
plantations,^ the air being subtle and rarefied, flows 
into the body as it moves, clears the vision, and so 
by removing the thick humour from the eyes, leaves 
the glance defined and the image clearly mai'ked. 
Moreover, since in walking the body is heated by 
motion, the air extracts the humours from the limbs, 
and diminishes repletion, by dissipating what the 
body has, more than it can carry. 6. We can per- 
ceive that this is so from the fact that when springs 
of water are under cover, or there is underground a 
marshy flow, no moist vapour rises. In places open 
to the air and sky, when the rising sun touches the 
world with its warmth, it draws the moisture from 
moist sites even more abundantly, gathers it together 
and raises it above. Therefore if it appears that in 
open places the more troublesome moisture is sucked 
out from the body, as it is seen to be drawn from 
the earth through the clouds, I do not think it is 
doubtful but that in cities extensive and ornate 
parades should be placed in the open, and exposed 
to the sun. 7. In order that these walks may be 

^ Gardens depended rather upon shrubs and trees than 
upon flowers for effect; in this, resembling modern Italian 



lutosae, sic erit faciendum. Fodiantur et exina- 
niantur quam altissime. Dextra atque sinistra 
structiles cloacae fiant, inque earum parietibus qui 
ad ambulationem spectaverint, tubuli instruantur 
inclinati fastigio. In cloacis his perfectis compleantur 
ea loca carbonibus, deinde insuper sabulone eae 
ambulationes sternantur et exaequentur. Ita 
propter carbonum raritatem naturalem et tubu- 
lorum in cloacas instructionem excipientur aquarum 
abundantiae, et ita siccae et sine umore perfectae 
fuerint ambulationes. 

8 Praeterea in his operibus thensauri sunt civitatibus 
in necessariis rebus a moribus constituti. In con- 
clusionibus enim reliqui omnes faciliores sunt appara- 
tus quam lignorum. Sal enim facile ante inportatur, 
frumenta publice privatimque expeditius congerun- 
tur, et si defit, holeribus, carne seu leguminibus 
defenditur, aquae fossuris puteorum et de caelo 
repentinis tempestatibus ex tegulis excipiuntur. De 
lignatione quae maxime necessaria est ad cibum 
quoquendum,! difficilis et molesta est apparatio, quod 

9 et tarde conportatur et plus consumitur. In eius- 
modi temporibus tunc eae ambulationes aperiuntur 
et mensurae tributim singulis capitibus designantur. 
Ita duas res egregias hypaethra ^ ambulationem ^ 
praestant, unam in pace salubritatis, alteram in bello 
salutis. Ergo his rationibus ambulationum expli- 
cationes non solum post scaenam theatri, sed etiam 
omnium deorum templis efFectae magnas civitatibus 
praestare poterunt utilitates. 

^ quoquendum H. ^ hypaethroe Ro : hypetra H. 

^ ambulationes ed : -nem H. 

^ a moribus H = eSei. 

BOOK V. c. IX. 

always dry and free from mud, the following 
measures should be taken. They are to be dug 
and emptied out as deeply as possible. Drains are 
to be constructed right and left. In the walls of 
these, which are on the side of the parade, pipes are 
to be fixed inclined to the drains. When this is 
complete, the place is to be filled with charcoal; 
then above this the walks are to be covered with 
sand and levelled. Thus by the natural porosity of 
the charcoal, and by the insei-tion of the pipes, the 
overflow of the water will be taken off. Thus the 
parades will be dry and without moisture. 

8. Moreover in these buildings, custom ^ included 
depots for stores required by the cities. In times of 
siege ,^ the provision of everything else is more easy 
than that of wood. Salt is easily brought in before- 
hand. Corn is quickly gathered by the community 
and by individuals. If it fails, provision can be 
made with green vegetables, meat or beans. Water 
is obtained by the digging of wells ; in sudden storms 
it is received from the sky by the roof tiles. But the 
provision of fire-wood, which is most necessary for 
cooking food, is difficult and troublesome. For it 
takes time to collect and is used in large quantities. 
9. In times of siege the walks are thrown open, 
and wood is distributed to each citizen according to 
his tribe. Thus walks in the open air serve two 
outstanding purposes : health in time of peace, and 
security in war. In this way the laying out of walks, 
not only behind the stage of the theatre but also for 
the temples of all the gods, can furnish cities with 
great advantages. 

^ Vitruvius may have in view the famous siege of Marseilles, 
49 B.C. 



Quoniam haec nobis satis videntur esse exposita, 
nunc insequentur balinearum dispositionum demon- 

1 Primum eligendus locus est quam calidissimus, id 
est avei'sus ab septemtrione et aquilone. Ipsa autem 
caldaria tepidariaque lumen habeant ab occidente 
hiberno, si autem natura loci inpedierit, utique a 
meridie, quod maxime tempus lavandi a meridiano 
ad vesperum est constitutum. Et item est anim- 
advertendum, uti caldaria ^ muliebria et virilia 
coniuncta et in isdem regionibus sint conlocata ; sic 
enim efficietur, ut in vasaria et hypocausis communis 
sit eorum utrisque. Aenea supra hypocausim tria 
sunt componenda, unum caldarium, alterum tepi- 
darium, tertium frigidarium, et ita conlocanda, uti, 
ex tepidario in caldarium quantum aquae caldae 
exierit, influat de frigidario in tepidarium ad eundem 
modum, testudinesque alveolorum ex communi 

2 hypocausi calfaciantur. Suspensurae caldariorum 
ita sunt faciendae, ut primum sesquipedalibus tegulis 
solum sternatur inclinatum ad hypocausim, uti pila 
cum mittatur, non possit intro resistere, sed rursus 
redeat ad praefurnium ipsa per se ; ita flamma 
facilius pervagabitur sub suspensione. Supraque 

^ calcaria H. 

1 Plate H. 

^ Gymnastic exercises were taken immediately before or 
after the bath. 

3 These rules are followed in the Stabian Baths at Pompeii, 
Plate H. 


BOOK V. c. ix,-c. X. 

Since these topics seem to us to be enough 
explained, there will now follow a description of the 
planning of baths. ^ 



1. Firstly a site must be chosen as warm as 
possible, that is, turned away from the north and 
east. Now the hot and tepid baths are to be lighted 
from the winter west ; but if the nature of the site 
prevents, at any rate from the south. For the time 
of bathing ^ is fixed between midday and evening. 
We must also take care that the hot baths for men 
and for women are adjacent and pl<^uned with the 
same aspects. For in this way it w" follow that the 
same furnace and heating system w s-^rve for both 
baths and for their fittings. Three mze tanks are 
to be placed above the furnace : one for the hot 
bath, a second for the tepid bath, a third for the cold 
bath.^ They are to be so arranged that the hot water 
which flows from the tepid bath into the hot bath, 
may be replaced by a like amount of water flowing 
down from the cold into the tepid bath. The vaulted 
chambers which contain the basins, are to be heated 
from the common furnace. 2. The hanging floors ^ 
of the hot baths are to be made as follows : first the 
ground is to be paved with eighteen inch tiles sloping 
towards the furnace, so that when a ball is thrown in 
it does not rest within, but comes back to the furnace 
room of itself. Thus the flame will more easily 
spread under the floor. On this pavement, piers of 

* This system of heating is said to have been invented by 
L. Sergius Grata c. 100 b.c. Plin. N.H. IX. 168. 


laterculis besalibus pilae struantur ita dispositae, uti 
bipedales tegulae possint supra esse conlocatae ; 
altitudinem autem pilae habeant pedes duo. Eaeque 
struantur argilla cum capillo subacta, supraque con- 
locentur tegulae bipedales quae sustineant pavi- 

3 mentum. Concamarationes vero si ex structura 
factae fuerint, erunt utiliores ; sin autem contig- 
nationes fuerint, figlinum opus subiciatur. Sed hoc 
ita erit faciendum. Regulae ^ ferreae aut arcus 
fiant, eaeque uncinis ferreis ad contignationem sus- 
pendantur quam creberrimis ; eaeque regulae sive 
arcus ita disponantur, uti tegulae sine marginibus 
sedere in duabus invehique possint, et ita totae con- 
camarationes in ferro nitentes sint perfectae. 
Earumque camararum superiora coagmenta ex 
argilla cum capillo subacta liniantur ; inferior ^ autem 
pars, quae ad pavimentum spectat, primum testa 
cum calce trullizetur,^ deinde opere albario sive 
tectorio poliatur. Eaeque camarae in caldariis si 
duplices factae fuerint, meliorem habebunt usum ; 
non enim a vapore umor corrumpere poterit materiem 
contignationis, sed inter duas camaras vagabitur. 

4 Magnitudines autem balneorum videntur fieri pro 
copia hominum ; sint ita conpositae. Quanta longi- 
tudo fuerit tertia dempta, latitude sit, praeter 
scholam '* labri et alvei. Labrum utique sub lumine 
faciundum videtur, ne stantes ^ circum suis umbris 
obscurent lucem. Scholas autem labrorum ita 

^ regula £?. ^ inferior i^cd' : interior Z^. 

^ trulizetur G : tulizetur H. * scolam H. 


BOOK V. c. X. 

eight inch bricks are to be built at such intervals 
that two foot tiles can be placed above. The piers 
are to be two feet high. They are to be laid in clay 
worked up with hair, and upon them two foot tiles 
are to be placed to take the pavement. 3. The 
vaulted ceilings will be more convenient if they are 
made of concrete. But if they are of timber, they 
should be tiled underneath, in the following fashion. 
Iron bars or arches are to be made and hung on the 
timber close together with iron hooks. And these 
rods or arches are to be placed so far apart that the 
tiles without raised edges may rest upon, and be 
carried by them ; thus the whole vaulting is finished 
resting upon iron. Of these vaulted ceilings the 
upper joints are to be stopped with clay and hair 
kneaded together. The under side, which looks to 
the pavement below, is to be first plastered with 
potsherds and lime pounded together, and then 
finished with stucco ^ or fine plaster. Such vaulting 
over hot baths will be more convenient if it is made 
double. For the moisture from the heat cannot 
attack the wood of the timbering but will be dis- 
persed between the two vaults. 4. Now the size of 
the baths is to be proportioned to the number of 
persons, and is to be thus arranged. Apart from the 
apse containing the bathing tub and the basin in 
which it stands, the breadth is to be two thirds of 
the length. The bathing tub should be placed 
under the light so that the bystanders do not obscure 
the light with their shadows. The apses for the 

^ The worker in stucco, albarius lector, could not only work 
up a smooth surface for fresco painting, opus tectorium, but 
moulded raised ornaments and figures. Tert. Idol. 8. 

* circumstantes e^ Joe. 


fuerit oportet spatiosas, uti, cum priores occupaverint 
loca circum, spectantes reliqui recte stare possint. 
Alvei auteni latitude inter parietem et pluteum ne 
minus sit pedes senos, ut gradus inferior inde auferat 
6 et pulvinus duos pedes. Laconicum sudationesque 
sunt eoniungendae tepidario ; eaeque quam latae 
fuerint, tantam altitudinem habeant ad imam curva- 
turam hemisphaei'ii.^ Mediumque lumen in hemi- 
sphaerio ^ relinquatur, ex eoque clypeom aeneum 
catenis pendeat, per cuius reductiones et dimissiones 
perficietur sudationis temperatura. Ipsumque ad 
circinum fieri oportere videtur, ut aequaliter a medio 
flammae vaporisque vis per curvaturae rutundationes 


1 Nunc mihi videtur, tametsi ^ non sint italicae consue- 
tudinis palaestrarum aedificationes,^ traditae tamen, 
explicare et quemadmodum apud Graecos consti- 
tuantur, monstrare.^ In palaestris peristylia quad- 
rata sive oblonga ita sint facienda, uti duorum 
stadiorum habeant ambulationis circuitionem, quod 
Graeci vocant diaulon,^ ex quibus tres porticus sim- 
plices disponantur, quarta quae ad meridianas 
regiones est conversa, duplex, uti, cum tempestates 

^ hemisperii H. ^ hemisperio H. 

^ tametsi ed : lam etsi H. 

* aedificationes G : -nis H S. 

^ constituantur . . . disputare possint ex hoc loco inseruit 
Galiani infra post pervenire. 

* diaulam H. 

^ fiurit subj. dependent on oportet, which governs scholas. 

^ Yet there is a palaestra in the Stabian baths at Pompeii. 
Strictly, however, the palaestra (wrestling school) is part of 
the gymnasium, which latter is here described. 

BOOK V. c. x.-c. XI. 

bathing tubs should be ^ spacious so that^^when the 
first comers have taken their places, the others 
watching their turn may stand conveniently. Now 
the width of the basin between the wall and the 
parapet, should be not less than six feet, from which 
the lower step and the " cushion," are to take two 
feet. 5. The domed sweating chamber should 
adjoin the tepid bath. The height to the springing 
of the dome should be equal to the width. In the 
middle of the dome a light is to be left. From this 
a bronze tray is himg with chains ; by the raising and 
lowering of the tray from the opening, the sweating 
is adjusted. The tray should be circular, so that the 
force of the flame and the heat may be diffused 
equally from the centre over the rounded curve. 



1. Although the building of the palaesti-a is not 
a usual thing in Italy ,^ the method of construction 
has been handed down. It seems good therefore to 
explain it and show how the palaestra is planned 
among the Greeks. Square or oblong cloisters ^ are 
to be made ^ with a walk round them of two furlongs 
(this walk the Greeks call diaulos). Three of the 
sides are to be single colonnades ; the fourth which 
has a south aspect is to be double, so that when rain 

* Or peristyles. Hei'od's Temple at Jerusalem was sur- 
rounded by a double colonnade of white marble columns 
except on the south which was quadruple and two stories high. 
The eastern colonnade was called Solomon's Porch. 

* sint facienda, a duplicated jussive. 



ventosae sint, non possit aspergo in intei-iorem partem 

2 pervenire. Constituantur autem in tribus porticibus 
exhedrae ^ spatiosae, habentes sedes, in quibus 
philosophi, rhetores reliquique, qui studiis delec- 
tantur, sedentes disputare possint. In duplici autem 
porticu conlocentur haec membra : ephebeum in 
medio (hoc autem est exhedra amplissima cum 
sedibus) tertia parte longior sit quam lata ; sub 
dextro coryceum, deinde proxime conisterium, a 
conisterio in versura porticus frigida lavatio, quam 
Graeci loutron ^ vocitant ; ad sinistram ephebei 
elaeothesium, proxime autem elaeothcsium frigi- 
darium, ab eoque iter in propnigeum in versura 
porticus. Proxime autem introrsus e regione frigi- 
darii conlocetur concamerata sudatio longitudine 
duplex quam latitudo, quae habeat in versuris ex 
una parte laconicum ad eundem modum, uti quam 
supra scriptum est, compositum, ex adverso laconici 
cal(iam lavationem. In palaestra peristylia,^ quem- 
admodum supra scriptum est, ita debent esse 

3 perfecta distributa. Extra autem disponantur por- 
ticus tres, una ex peristyle exeuntibus, duae dextra 
atque sinistra stadiatae, ex quibus una quae spec- 
taverit ad septentrionem, perficiatur duplex amplis- 
sima latitudine, altera simplex, ita facta, uti in par- 
tibus, quae fuerint circa parietes et quae erit ad 
columnas, margines habeant uti semitas non minus 
pedum denum mediumque excavatum, uti gradus 
sint in descensu marginibus sesquipedem ad plani- 
tiem, quae planities sit non minus pedes xii ; ita 

^ exedrae H. ^ lytron H. 

^ perstylia H. 

^ Perfecta distributa H. 

BOOK V. c. XI. 

is accompanied by gales, the drops may not reach the 
inside. 2. On the other three sides, spacious exhedrae 
(apsidal recesses) are to be planned with seats where 
philosophers, teachers of rhetoric and other studious 
persons can sit and discuss. In the double colonnade, 
however, these provisions are to be made. In the 
centre there is to be the ephebeum (a large apsidal 
recess with seats for young men) a third longer than 
it is wide ; on the right the coryceum (for exercise 
with the quintain) ; next to this the conisteriiwi (for 
athletes to powder themselves) ; adjoining the 
conisterium at the angle of the colonnade the cold 
bath which the Greeks call loutron ; at the left 
of the ephebeum, the elaeothesium (for athletes to oil 
themselves) ; next to this is the cold room from 
which the furnace-room is entered at the angle of 
the colonnade. Adjoining this on the inside in line 
with the cold room, a vaulted sweating-room is to 
be placed, twice as long as it is broad, having in the 
angle of the colonnade the Laconicum (domed sweating 
room) constructed as before described (c. x 5), and 
opposite this a warm bath. In the palaestra, the 
cloisters ought to be thus completed and arranged.^ 
3. Outside the palaestra three colonnades are to be 
arranged ; the first, as you go out of the peristyle ; 
right and left of this, two colonnades with running 
tracks. Of these three the one which has a north 
aspect, is to be built double and very wide ; the 
others are to be single. On the sides which adjoin 
the walls and those which adjoin the columns, they 
are to have borders ten feet wide to serve as paths. 
The middle part is to be excavated with steps down 
from the paths to the level track a foot and a half 
below, and the track is to be not less than 12 feet 



qui vestiti ambulaverint circum in marginibus, non 
4 inpedientur ab unctis^ se exercentibus. Haec autem 
porticus xystos apud Graecos vocitatur, quod athletae 
per hiberna tempora in tectis stadiis ^ exercentur.' 
Proxime autem xystum et duplicem porticum 
designentur hypaethroe * ambulationes, quas Graeci 
paradromidas, nostri xysta appellant, in quas per 
hiemem ex xysto sereno caelo athletae prodeuntes 
exercentur. Faciunda ^ autem xysta sic videntur, 
ut sint inter duas porticus silvae aut platanones,^ et 
in his perficiantur inter arbores ambulationes ibique 
ex opere signino stationes. Post xystum autem 
stadium ita figuratum, ut possint hominum copiae 
cum laxamento athletas ' certantes spectare. Quae 
in moenibus necessaria videbantur esse, ut apte dis- 
ponantur, perscripsi. 


1 De opportunitate autem portuum non est praeter- 
mittendum sed,quibus rationibus tueantur naves in his 
ab tempestatibus, explicandum. Hi autem natural- 
iter si sint bene positi habeantque acroteria sive pro- 
munturia procurrentia, ex quibus introrsus curvaturae 

1 unctis Salmasius : cunctis H. 
^ stadiis H : studiis H' G. 

^ hinc ■postfosuit Sclin. faciunda autem . . . stationes 
post . . . prodeuntes exercentur. 
* hypaethroe Bo : hypetro eae H G. 
^ faciunda . . . stationes hue (ransposuit Galiani. 
^ platanones et Joe : platanon esset H. 
' athl&an H. 


BOOK V. c. xi.-c. XII. 

wide. Thus persons who walk about on the paths 
in their clothes will not be disturbed by the athletes 
who use oil. 4. Such a colonnade is called xystos by 
the Greeks, whose athletes take exercise in the 
winter on covered tracks. Next to the covered 
track and the double colonnade walks in the open 
are to be planned (which the Greeks call paradromides 
and our people xysta). When it is fine weather in 
winter, the athletes come into the open and take 
exercise here. The xysta ought to be so laid out 
that there are plantations or groves of plane trees 
between the two colonnades. Here walks are to 
be made among the trees with spaces paved with 
cement. 1 Behind the xystum, the stadium (sports 
ground) should be so planned that large crowds can 
comfortably see the competitors. I have now enu- 
merated the buildings required within the city walls 
and their suitable disposition. 



1. It remains to deal with the suitable arrange- 
ment of harbours,^ and to explain by what means, in 
these, ships are protected from stormy weather. 
There are great advantages if they are well placed 
by nature and have headlands (acroteria) jutting out, 
behind which bays or creeks are formed owing to 
the nature of the place. For round these colonnades 

^ Opus signinum composed of lime, sand and pounded 
pottery, which set as hard as stone. 

^ Timoxenus wrote on harbours, Aesch. Persae 306 schol. 


sive versui-ae ex loci natura fuerint conformatae, maxi- 
mas utilitates videntur habere. Circum enim porticus 
sive navalia ^ sunt facienda sive ex porticibus aditus 
<(ad) ^ emporia, turresque ex utraque parte conlo- 
candae, ex quibus catenae traduci per machinas 

2 Sin autem non naturalem locum neque idoneum 
ad tuendas ab tempestatibus naves habucrimus, ita 
videtur esse faciendum, uti, si nullum flumen in his 
locis inpedierit sed erit ex una parte static, tunc ex 
altera parte structuris sive aggeribus expediantur 
progressus, et ita conformandae portuum conclu- 
siones. Eae^ autem structurae, quae in aqua sunt 
futurae, videntur sic esse faciendae, uti portetur 
pulvis a regionibus, quae sunt a Cumis continuatae 
ad promunturium Minervae, isque misceatur, uti in 

3 mortario duo ad unum respondeant. Deinde tunc 
in eo loco, qui definitus erit, arcae stipitibus robusteis 
et catenis inclusae in aquam demittendae destinan- 
daeque firmiter ; deinde inter ea ex trastilis inferior 
pars sub aqua exaequanda et purganda, et caementis 
ex mortario materia mixta, quemadmodum supra 
scriptum est, ibi congerendum, donique* conpleatur 
structurae spatium, quod fuerit inter areas. Hoc 
autem munus naturale habent ea loca, quae supra 
scripta sunt. 

Sin autem propter fluctus aut impetus aperti 
pelagi destinae areas non potuerint continere, tunc 
ab ipsa terra sive crepidine pulvinus quam firmissime 
struatur, isque pulvinus exaequata struatur planitia 

^ sive navalia rec : sivenalia H. * add. Joe. 

* eae H : hae G. * denique B : compleantur H. 

1 Used at Cyzicus a.d. 365. Amm. XXVI. viii. 8. 

BOOK V. c. XII. 

cither docks are to be made, or approaches from 
the colonnades to the warehouses. On either side 
towers are to be built from which chains ^ (across 
the harbour) can be draAvn by machinery. 

2. But if we have no natural harbour suitable for 
protecting ships from a stormy sea, we must proceed 
as follows. If there is an anchorage on one side 
without any river mouth to interfere, piers are to be 
constructed on the other side by masonry or embank- 
ments in order to form an enclosed harbour. The 
masonry which is to be in the sea must be constructed 
in this way. Earth ^ is to be brought from the 
district which runs from Cumae to the promontory 
of Minerva,^ and mixed, in the mortar, two parts to 
one of lime. 3. Then in the place marked out, 
cofferdams,^ formed of oak piles and tied together 
with chains, are to be let down into the water and 
firmly fixed. Next, the lower part between them 
under the water is to be levelled and cleared with a 
platform of small beams laid across and the work is 
to be carried up with stones and mortar as above 
described, until the space for the structure between 
the dams is filled. Such is the natural advantage of 
the places described above. 

But if on account of the breakers or the violence of 
the open sea, the supports cannot uphold the dams, 
then a platform is to be laid, as firmly as possible, 
starting from the edge of the shore or from a break- 
water. This platform is to be laid with a level top 

* Pozzuolana is a brown volcanic ash which, mixed with 
lime, sets under water. A similar ash is also found near Rome. 

^ Sorrento. 

* " The concrete was to be lowered into the sea in caissons 
to form the foundation of the piers." The mole at Puteoli 
was an example. Stuart Jones Com'panion 156. 


minus quam dimidiae partis, reliquum quod est 
4 proxime litus, proclinatum latus habeat. Deinde ad 
ipsam aquam et latera pulvino circiter sesquipedales 
niargines struantur aequilibres ex planitia, quae est 
supra scripta ; tunc proclinatio ea impleatur harena 
et exaequetur cum margine et planitia pulvini. 
Deinde insuper earn exaequationem pila quam magna 
constituta fuerit, ibi struatur ; eaque, cum erit 
extructa, relinquatur ne minus duos mensis, ut 
siccescat. Tunc autem succidatur margo quae 
sustinet hai'enam ; ita harena fluctibus subruta 
efficiet in mare pilae praecipitationem. Hac ratione, 
quotienscumque opus fuerit, in aquam poterit esse 
6 In quibus autem locis pulvis non nascitur, his 
rationibus erit faciendum, uti arcae duphces relatis 
tabulis et catenis conHgatae in eo loco, qui finitus 
erit, constituantur, et inter destinas creta in eronibus 
ex ulva palustri factis calcetur. Cum ita bene calca- 
tum et quam densissime fuerit, tunc cocleis rotis 
tympanis conlocatis locus qui ea septione finitus 
fuerit, exinaniatur sicceturque, et ibi inter septiones 
fundamenta fodiantur. Si terrena erunt, usque ad 
solidum, crassiora quam qui murus supra futurus 
erit, exinaniatur sicceturque et tunc structura ex 
6 caementis calce et harena compleatur. Sin autem 
mollis locus erit, palis ustilatis alneis aut oleagineis 
configantur et carbonibus compleantur, quemad- 
modum in theatrorum et muri fundationibus est 
scriptum. Deinde tunc quadrato saxo murus ducatur 
iuncturis quam longissimis, uti maxime medii lapides 

^ Eronibus harenae plenis Plin. N.H. XXXVI. 96. 
^ Book X. V and vi. 


BOOK V. c. XII. 

(towards the sea) less than half its width ; towards 
the shore, it is to have a sloping side. 4. Then 
towards the water and on the side of the platform 
construct margins projecting about one and a half 
feet level with the top mentioned above. Then the 
overhanging part is to be filled up underneath with 
sand and made level with the margin and the surface 
of the platform. Next, a pillar of the size appointed 
is to be built upon the levelled surface, and when it 
is finished, it is to be left to set for two months. 
The margin which keeps up the sand is to be cut 
away : thus the sand is washed away by the waves 
and causes the pillar to fall into the sea. In this 
way, as often as it is necessaiy, the pier is carried 
further into the water. 

5. Where, however, the earth in question is not 
found, we must proceed as follows. Double coffer- 
dams bound together with planks and chains are to 
be put in the place marked out. Between the 
supports, clay in hampers^ made of rushes is to be 
pressed down. When it is well pressed down and 
as closely as possible, the place marked out by the 
enclosure is to be emptied with waterscrews and 
waterwheels ^ with drums, and so dried. Here the 
foundations are to be dug. If the foundations are 
on the sea bottom, they are to be emptied and 
drained to a greater width than the wall to be built 
upon them, and then the work is to be filled in with 
conci'ete of stone lime and sand. 6. But if the 
bottom is soft the foundations are to be charred piles 
of alder and olive filled in with charcoal, as prescribed 
for the foundations of theatres and the city walls. 
The wall is then raised of squared stone with joints as 
long as possible, so that the middle stones may be 



coagnientis contineantur. Tunc, qui locus erit inter 
murum, ruderatione sive stvuctura conipleatur. Ita 
erit uti possit turris insuper aedificari. 

His perfectis navaliorum ea erit ratio, ut consti- 
tuantur spectantia maxime ad septentrionem ; nam 
meridianae regiones propter aestus cariem, tineam, 
teredines reliquaque bestiarum nocentium genera 
procreant alendoque conservant. Eaque aedificia 
minime sunt materianda ^ propter incendia. De 
magnitudinibus autem finitio nulla debet esse, sed 
faciunda ad maximum navium modum, uti, etsi 
maiores naves subductae fuerint, habeant cum 
laxamento ibi conlocationem. 

Quae necessaria ad utilitatem in civitatibus 
publicorum locorum succurrere mihi potuerunt,^ 
quemadmodum constituantur et perficiantur, in hoc 
volumine scripsi ; privatorum autem aedificiorum 
utilitates et eorum symmetrias insequenti volumine 

^ materienda //. * potuerunt G : poterunt H. 


BOOK V. c. XII. 

well tied together by the jointing. The inside of 
the wall is then to be filled in with rubble or masonry. 
Thus it may be possible for a tower to be built upon it. 

7. Subsequently the shipyards are to be built and 
with a northern aspect, as a rule. For southern 
aspects because of their warmth generate dry rot, 
wood worms and ship worms with other noxious 
creatures, and feed and maintain them. Further, 
such buildings should have very little wood in them 
because of fire. As to their dimensions no rule 
should be laid down. They are to be made to take 
the largest vessels ; so that even if such vessels are 
drawn ashore, they may have a roomy berth. 

In this book I have described how the works 
required for public purpose in cities are to be 
planned and carried out. The next book ^ will 
consider the requirements of private buildings and 
their due proportions. 

^ Vitruvius probably published his work at intervals ; hence 
these cross-references throughout. Additions to the main 
body of the work seem to have been made on the publication 
of the several books : Book V. i. 8, 9 is an instance. 


Printed in Great Britain by 

Richard Clay & Suns, Limited, 

bungav, suffolk. 


DIAL OF WINDS [Book I. vi. 12. H. 

The dotted lines A-E and A-C mark the shadows as takea before and after 
the midday shadow A-F. D is the intersection of circles struck from B and 
in order to give the meridian shadow, and D-E gives the meridian line. 



[Book I. vi. 



1 1 1 

• • a 



> • • 


• • 

t • 


> • • 



Book III. ii. 6. 



A. Shaft. 

B. Base. 
0. Capital. 

D. Architrave. 

E. Frieze. 

F. Cornice. 













Book III. 7. 

M. Volute to a larger scale. 




Book IV. iii. 

A. Shaft. 

B. Capital. 

C. Architrave. 

D. I'rieze. 

E. Cornice. 

P. Metope. 

Q. Triglyph. 

H. Capital of Triglyph. 



Book V. iv. 5. 





Hypate. ^, 

Parhypate. r 





Tiite. A 

Paranete. Y 

Nete. ^ 

Trite. >. 

Paranete. r 

Nete. ^ 

Fixed Notes: Breves. 
Movable Notes: Crotch- 





Book V. V. 2. 













The above notes havp 
tails to the right. 



1 H IJif^n. 


' i^-- 

>!.. ..X 

....-Vi ^ 




I .■■■•' 


"^ \VV^ 






.-■•■ ■■ 

II iL 


' "A" ' 

c- " ' 


Book V, vi. 

A. Orchestra. B. Stage, a-u. Front of staje. b. Koyal door. c. Side 
doors, d. Revolving scenes. 1-5. Staircases. F. Blocks of seats. Q, Level 






Book v. X and xi. 

















A. Entrance. 

B. Apodyterium. 

C. Tepidarium. 

D. Caldarium. 



Latin Authors 

W. Adlington (1566). Revised by S. Gaselee. (4/^ /m/>.) 

AULUS GELLIUS. J. C. Rolfe. 3 Vols. 

AUSONIUS. H. G. Evelyn White. 2 Vols. 

BEDE. J. E. King. 2 Vols. 

PHILOSOPHIAE. Rev. H. F. Stewart and E. K. Rand. 
[2nd Imp.) 

CAESAR: CIVIL WARS. A. G. Peskett. [yd Imp.) 

CAESAR: GALLIC WAR. H.J.Edwards. (5M /;«/.) 

CATULLUS. F. W. Cornish ; TIBULLUS. J. B. Postdate • 

CICERO: DE FINIBUS. H. Rackham. {yd Imp. re- 

CICERO : DE OFFICIIS. Walter Miller, [^rd Imp.) 

DIVINATIONE. W. A. Falconer, {yd Imp.) 

W. Keyes. 

3 Vols. (Vol. I. 4/A hup.. Vol. II. yd Imp. and III. 2nd Imp. ) 

Williams. 3 Vols. 




ETC. N. II. Watts. 






N. H. Watts. 

2 Vols. Vol. I. 

CLAUDIAN. M. Platnauer. 2 Vols. 

J. C. Rolfe. 


HORACE: ODES AND EPODES. C. E. Bennett. {9th 

Imp. revised.^ 


H, R. Fairclough. [2.nd Inip. revised.) 
JUVENAL AND PERSIUS. G. G. Ramsay. {z,th Imp.) 
LIVY. B. O. Foster. 13 Vols. Vols. T.-V. (Vol. I. 2nJ 

Imp. revised.) 
LUCAN. J. D. DufT. 

LUCRETIUS. W. H. D. Rouse, {yd Imp. revised.) 
MARTIAL. W. C. A. Ker. 2 Vols, {yd Imp. revised.) 


J. H. Mozley. 
OVID: HEROIDES and AMORES. Grant Showerman. 

{yd Imp. ) 
OVID: METAMORPHOSES. F. JMiller. 2 Vols. (Vol. 

I. Sth Imp., Vol. II. 4//i Imp.) 
OVID: TRISTIA and EX PONTO. A. L. Wheeler. 

CYNTOSIS. W. H. D. Rouse, {^fh Imp.) 

PLAUTUS. Paul Nixon. 5 Vols. Vols. I. -III. (Vol. I. 
-^rd/mp.. Vol. III. 4M //«/.) 

PLINY: LETTERS. Melmoth's Translation revised by 
W. M. L. Hutchinson. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. ^th Imp., Vol. II. 
'^rd Imp. ) 

PROPERTIUS. H. E. Butler. {i,th Imp.) 

QUINTILIAN. H. E. Butler. 4 Vols. 


2 Vols. (Vol. I. 4/A hnp., Vol. II. yd Imp.) 

SALLUST. J. Rolfe. {ziid Imp. revised.) 


3 Vols. Vols. I. and II. (Vol. I. 2nd Imp. revised.) 


3 Vols, (Vols. I. and II. 2nd Itnp. revised.) 

SENECA: MORAL ESSAYS. J. W. Basore. 3 Vols. 
Vol. I. 

SENECA: TRAGEDIES. F.J.Miller. 2 Vols. (2nd Itnp. 

STATIUS. J. H. Mozley. 2 Vols. 

SUETONIUS. J. C. Rolfe. 2 Vols. {^k Imp. revised.) 

TACITUS: DIALOGUS. Sir Wm. Peterson and AGRI- 
COLA AND GERMANIA. Maurice Hutton. [yd Imp.) 

and J. Jackson. 3 Vols. Vols. I. and II. 

TERENCE. John Sargeaunt. 2 Vols, {^th Imp.) 

T. R. Glover. MINUCIUS FELIX. G. H. Rendall. 



VIRGIL. H. R. Fairclough. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. lOth Imp., 
Vol. II. %tk Imp.) 

Vol. I. 

VOL. I. (VIT.) 

Greek Authors 



SANDER. The Illinois Greek Club. 
AP:SCHYLUS. II. WeirSmyth. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 3rd' /w/., 

VoL II. 2nd Imp.) 
APOLLODORUS. Sir James G. Frazer. 2 Vols. 
APOLLONIUS RHODIUS. R. C. Seaton. (,i,th Imp.) 
THE APOSTOLIC FATHERS. Kirsopp Lake. 2 Vols. 

(Vol. I. 5M hitp.. Vol. II. A,th Imp.) 
APPIAN'S ROMAN HISTORY. Horace White. 4 Vols. 

(Vol. I. yd Imp., Vol. IV. 2nd Imp.) 
ARISTOPHANES. Benjamin Bickley Rogers. 3 Vols. 

{yd Imp.) Verse trans. 


ARISTOTLE : PHYSICS ; Rev. P. Wicksteed and F. M. 

Cornford. 2 Vols. Vol. I. 

Fyfe ; DEMETRIUS ON STYLE. W. Rhys Roberts. 

Rev. E. Ilift'e Robson. 2 Vols. Vol. I. 

Vols. Vols. I-IV. 

ARATUS. G. R. Mair. 
CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA. Rev. G. W. Butterworth. 
DAPHNIS AND CHLOE. Thornley's Translation revised bv 

J. M. Edmonds; AND PARTHENIUS. S. Gaselee. {2nd 

Imp. ) 

LEGATIONE. C. A. Vince and J. H. Vince. 


(Vol. II. 2ud Imp.) 
DIOGENES LAERTIUS. R. D. Hicks. 2 Vols. (Vol. II. 

2nd Imp. ) 


EPICTETUS. W. A. Oldfather. 2 Vols. 

EURIPIDES. A. S. Way. 4 Vols. (Vol. I. 5//^ Imp., 

Vol. II. 5//2 Imp., Vol IV. 4M /;«/., Vol. III. T,rd Imp.) 

Verse trans. 

Lake. 2 Vols. Vol. I. 

Brock. {2nd Imp. ) 
IHE GREEK ANTHOLOGY. W. R. Paton. 5 Vols. 

(Vol. I. T,rd hnp.. Vol. II. 2tid Imp.) 

BION, MOSCHUS). J.M.Edmonds. {c,/h Imp. revised.) 
HERODOTUS. A. D. Godley. 4 Vols. ( Vol. 1. 3^/ /w/. , 

Vols. II.— IV. 2nd Imp.) 

White, {^th Imp.) 

CLEITUS. W. H. S. Jones and E. T. Withington. 4 Vols. 
HOMER: ILIAD. A. T. Murray. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. :^rd 

Imp., Vol. II. 2nd Imp.) 
HOMER: ODYSSEY. A. T. Murray. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 

^th Imp., Vol. II. -^rd Imp.) 
ISAEUS. E. W. Forster. 

ISOCRATES. George Norlin. 3 Vols. Vols. I. and II. 
JOSEPHUS: H. St. J. Thackeray. 8 Vols. Vols. L-IV. 
JULIAN. Wilmer Cave Wright. 3 Vols. (Vol. I. 2iid Imp.) 
LUCIAN. A.M.Harmon. 8 Vols. Vols. L-IV. (Vols. I. 

and II. T,rd hup.) 
LYRA GRAECA. J. M. Edmonds. 3 Vols. (Vol. I. 2nd 

Ed. revised and enlarged. ) 
LYSIAS. W. R. M. Lamb. 

MARCUS AURELIUS. C.R.Haines, {-^rd Imp. revised.) 
MENANDER. F. G. Allinson. (2nd Imp. revised.) 

Jones. 5 Vols, and Companion Vol. Vols. I. and II. (Vol. I. 

2nd Imp. ) 
PHILO. F. H. Colson and Rev. G. H. Whitaker. 10 Vols. 

Vols. I.-III. 

TYANA. F. C. Conybeare. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. yd Imp.. 

Vol. II. 2nd Imp.) 


SOPHISTS. Wilmer Cave Wright. 

PINDAR. Sir J. E. Sandys, {^th Imp. revised.) 



W. R. M. Lamb. 


PHAEDRUS. H. N. Fowler, {dth Imp.) 

DEMUS. W. R. M. Lamb. 

PLATO : LAWS. Rev. R. G. Bury. 2 Vols. 


PLATO: REPUBLIC. Paul Shorey. 2 Vols. Vol.1. 

ION. W. R. M. Lamb. 

{2nd Imp.) 


NUS, EPISTULAE. Rev. R. G. Bury. 
PLUTARCH: MORALI A. F. C. Babbitt. 14 Vols. Vols. 


Vols. (Vols. I., II. and VII. 2nd Imp.) 
POLYBIUS. W. R. Paton. 6 Vols. 

Dewing. 7 Vols. Vols. I.-V, 
QUINTUS SMYRNAEUS. A. S. Way. Verse trans. 
ST. BASIL: LETTERS. R. J. Deferrari. 4 Vols. Vols. 


Rev. G. R. Woodward and Harold Mattingly. 
SOPHOCLES. F. Storr. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. t^th Imp., Vol. 

II. a,th Imp.) Verse trans. 
STRABO: GEOGRAPHY. Horace L. Jones. 8 Vols. 

Vols. I. -VII. (Vol. I. 2nd Imp.) 


HERODES, etc. A. D. Knox. 

Arthur Hort, Bart. 2 Vols. 

THUCYDIDES. C.F.Smith. 4 Vols. (Vols. I., II. and 
III. 2nd Imp. revised.) 


XENOPHON: CYROPAEDIA. Walter Miller. 2 Vols. 
(Vol. I. 2nd Imp.) 

AND SYMPOSIUM. C. L. Brownson and O. J. Todd. 
3 Vols. (Vol. I. 2nd Imp.) 

E. C. Marchant. 



Greek Authors 


OF ANIMALS. E. S. Forster. 

ARISTOTLE, ORGANON. W. M, L. Hutchinson. 

TUTION. H. Rackham. 




ANACREONTEA. J. M. Edmonds. 

PAPYRI. A. S. Hunt. 



Latin Authors 


CELSUS. W. G. Spencer. ' 



Stuttaford and W. E. Sulton. 

J. H. Freese. 

ENNIUS, LUCILIUS and other specimeRs of Old Latin. 
E. H. Warmington. 

OVID, FASTI. Sir J. G. Frazer. 



SIDONIUS, LETTERS. E. V. Arnold and W. B. Anderson. 

TACITUS, ANNALS. John Jackson. 

VALERIUS FLACCUS. A. F. Scholfield. 



New York - - - G. PUTNAM'S SONS 


MS j s \^m 

W^ , OCT 9 Ids'* 

If- 7'' ^^"^^.., 

OCT 2 9 1975 ^^^ ^ 

,975 ^^' 

3 'A*' o 

OCT 2 5 1979 

AQArt Vitruvius Pollio 

11^ Vitnivius, On architecture 



cop. 2 







iJf-'i, i 'c ^ ^^ ^ '^o/j 


*"'' "'^''"' ""•*■*-'— «::*«*:;ufc,„t..-k>.^^.-.